State Bank of India’s public sector, Govandi Branch, has changed its weekly holiday from Sunday to Friday with effect from December 1 in some areas.
A message about the announcement was posted outside the branch this week and the move is allegedly planned to facilitate the local ‘minority’ population living in and around Govandi, a northeastern suburb.
Despite repeated attempts, senior SBI officials were not available for comment on the potentially controversial move, which appears to have been taken at local levels. As per the notification, come December 1, SBI Govandi Branch will remain closed on all Fridays, and 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.
As the announcement states, “From Sunday to Thursday, business hours will be normal – daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.” Concerns were raised in some quarters that even the SBI Millenium Branch in Dadar would pursue the case, but branch officials on Tuesday completely denied the allegations, as reported by IANS.
Incidentally, branches of some other banks in the city and some other parts of the country also offer a half-day of work on Sundays – which is balanced by all the Saturdays for the convenience of the local people.
The move by SBI’s Govandi branch has drawn strong reactions on social media with protests over Friday’s closure to meet the “demands of the local demographics”, and calls for regional coordination for unity in the respective areas.