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B for bullets & bad boys? Nope, bank

- Colourful Wasseypur gets its first savings solution in SBI branch, ATM coming soon

Wonder what noir filmmaker Anurag Kashyap will say about this. Wasseypur, the small and crowded minority-dominated colony in Dhanbad, whose gang wars Kashyap captured with cinematic exaggeration on film, now has something as basic as a bank.

As the clock struck 11am on Monday, Wasseypur’s first bank opened doors.

State Bank of India’s regional manager A.K. Jha cut the ribbon in the presence of a host of officials and residents to inaugurate the Wasseypur branch.

Named after social worker M.A. Wassey, the colony in Bank More police station area ironically did not have a bank till Monday.

Regional manager of SBI Dhanbad Jha said this was the 46th branch of SBI in the district. “Ever since we have the Dhanbad regional office of SBI, nine branches have opened doors,” he added.

“The new branch is totally computerised. It has facilities such as the core banking solution network, mobile and Internet banking, locker and demat facilities. People can buy mutual fund and other financial products of SBI from the bank branch itself.

The under-construction ATM counter on the ground floor of the six-storey building — bank offices occupy the first floor — will function in a couple of weeks.

“The bank will help strengthen the area’s financial system. Banking is a basic facility. I urge you all to use new-age mobile and Internet banking and green channels,” Jha said.

“Account holders will get locker facility within a fortnight,” he added. “If we will get support and business from residents, we can provide a spectrum of facilities and increase the bank’s manpower.”

So far, two persons — branch manager Sanjay Kumar and assistant Mohammed Irshad — have been deputed here.

Welcoming the development, president of Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Wasseypur Area Nisar Alam said he was glad SBI had its footprint in the area.

Addressing Jha, bank officials, Chamber secretary Imtiyaz Ahmad, Dhanbad MLA Mannan Mullick’s son-in-law Tabrez Mallick and others, Alam said that even till some months ago, the area fell in the “red zone” of many banks and financial institutions.

“We argued Wasseypur needs a bank. We said Wasseypur people needed loans. We met Dhanbad deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar three-four months ago, who instructed then deputy development commissioner Dinesh Chandra Mishra to take up the issue with the authorities of the leading bank here, the SBI. Finally, the bank has opened its branch here. We assure authorities of total cooperation,” Alam said.

Wasseypur, whose notorious reputation precedes it, is the hub of many businesses such as wood furniture, fabrication and printing.

Residents were enthusiastic. “I had to close my shop to run to Bank More SBI,” Meraj Khan (31), who runs a tyre shop, said. “Now, even the women of my family will be able to operate bank accounts.”

Shahid Ahmad (69), a resident of Hafiz Colony, Wasseypur, said: “Ever since I saw the SBI signboard three days ago I and my family members are agog with excitement.”

In the coal district, of the total 46 SBI branches, 32 are within Dhanbad Municipal Corporation area and 14 others outside.

New bank apart, over one lakh Wasseypur families who live in a warren of homes and alleys don’t have basic civic facilities such as a well-equipped hospital, good schools and colleges or life insurance offices.