Banks refuse to accept coins worth lakhs from Shirdi Temple, Trust seeks RBI intervention

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According to a report by the Times of India, the Shirdi Saibaba temple is facing a unique problem as banks are finding it challenging to accommodate the lakhs of rupees donated in coins. The Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST), which manages the temple, has a total of 13 branches in different state-owned banks, with a dozen located in Shirdi and one in Nashik. Currently, these banks collectively hold close to Rs 11 crore in the form of coins.

However, the CEO of the trust, Rahul Jadhav, revealed that four of the state-owned banks in Shirdi have stopped accepting coins due to a space crunch. He explained that officials of these four banks have no space to keep the coins they receive every day, causing a significant problem for the trust.

As a solution, the trust is now planning to directly write to the Reserve Bank of India seeking intervention. Additionally, Jadhav mentioned that they are looking to approach banks in other parts of Ahmednagar district, and they will also ask the state for help. The trust plans to open accounts in such banks so that coins can be deposited there.

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The trust’s monthly collection in the form of coins from 50 paise to Rs 10 adds up to Rs 28 lakh. The banks with the trust’s accounts send their personnel to the temple every month by rotation to collect deposits and donations.

This is not the first time banks have raised the issue of space crunch due to the large number of coins. In 2019, the temple had offered rooms within the temple premises to accommodate the coins, but the banks’ rules did not permit it, resulting in the proposal being rejected.

On average, daily 25,000 devotees visit Shirdi village, to have the Darshan of Shri Saibaba. In the festival season, more than 1,00,000 devotees visit the Temple everyday. The Temple premises is renovated in the year 1998-99 and now is equipped with all necessary facilities like Darshan Lane, Prasadalay (Lunch and Dinner), Donation Counters, Prasad Counters, Canteen, Railway Reservation Counter, Book Stall etc. The accommodation facilities are also provided by the Sansthan.

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