Mumbai: Don't accept Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes, BEST tells conductors

The decision is part of their plan to avoid being handed fake currency notes, and BEST claims the conductors aren’t trained enough to recognise a counterfeit note; staffers will soon be trained to identify such notes as well

In a move that could result in spats between passengers and conductors increasing further, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has asked its conductors and staff members sitting at cash counters of bus depots to refrain from accepting currency notes of denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.

BEST officials said that, during peak hours, the conductor can issue tickets to five people in the time it takes him to tender change for a big denomination like Rs 500 or Rs 1,000. File pic for representation
BEST officials said that, during peak hours, the conductor can issue tickets to five people in the time it takes him to tender change for a big denomination like Rs 500 or Rs 1,000. File pic for representation

The move, BEST sources told mid-day, is with a view of avoiding to deal with fake currency notes. The undertaking claims their kitty has accumulated Rs 3 lakh in fake notes in the financial year 2014-15, all of which are Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

Officials also said conductors are not trained enough to recognise a fake note, while also lamenting over the time wasted in tendering change when a passenger hands over such a huge denomination. “During peak hours, at least five passengers can be issued tickets in the time that a conductor gives change for a bigger note.

Moreover, our staff is not trained enough to identify fake notes,” explained a BEST official. The undertaking is looking at teaching its staff members sitting at bus stations and depots, how to spot a fake note. These staffers will, in turn, train conductors the people who handle the cash how to tell apart a real note from a counterfeit one.

“We appeal to people not to give high-denomination notes like Rs 500 and Rs 1,000,” said Jagdish Patil, general manager, BEST. Officials, however, conceded that it is impossible to expect all passengers to tender the exact cost of the ticket. Tussles with conductors over even smaller notes are not uncommon. mid-day had reported on April 22 this year that a conductor had allegedly insulted a senior citizen who had given Rs 10 for a seven-rupee fare.

Rs 3 lakh
Amount in fake notes the BEST got, in the financial year 2014-15

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