This report on CSES study was published in The Times of India on 29.07.2020
A survey conducted by Centre for Socio-economic and Environmental Studies (CSES) revealed that 43% of ATMs in the state are not equipped with proper sanitization facilities. The rapid survey was undertaken in 276 ATMs across the state during the period of July 24-27 in the context of the spread of Covid-19.
Many of the ATMs have empty sanitizer bottles and are also littered with the same. In some ATMs, very small sanitizer bottles are kept and in others, it is kept in an inconspicuous manner, the survey report said.
Posters/notices with the instructions to sanitize hands before and after every cash transaction is displayed only in 40% ATMs. Only one-third of the ATMs have provided these instructions in Malayalam. No direction is provided in Kannada and Tamil in the ATMs visited in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu border regions.
One-third of the total ATMs in Kerala belong to State Bank of India (SBI). However, sanitizer was available only in less than half of the SBI ATMs surveyed. Kerala-based private sector banks wage better in this regard (70%). In the case of other private and public sector banks, only half of their ATMs have sanitizer facilities.
It is also found that the availability of sanitizer is considerably better in the ATMs installed near the bank branches. While in two-thirds of such ATMs, sanitization facilities are properly available, the same is available in 38% of standalone ATMs. “This difference maybe because it is easier for the bank staff to re-fill/replace sanitizer bottles in the ATMs installed near the bank branches. However, it also points to the fact that banks need to specifically provide more attention to ensure sanitization facilities in standalone ATMs,” the report said.
The survey also found that the availability of sanitization facilities in ATMs is worse in panchayats and municipalities. Sanitizers were available in 70% of ATMs located in corporations. However, the same was available in only 55% and 52% of ATMs situated in panchayats and municipalities, respectively.