Mumbai, November 30: Almost three weeks have passed after Narendra Modi announced the process of demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and since than Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is piled up with old currency. According to reports, the RBI will take over a year to destroy 1,500 crore old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.

The sorting, verification and shredding of the notes are already underway at Mumbai, Belapur and Nagpur (three places in Maharashtra). The cash is first filled in gunny bags and then sent to RBI by various banks. In Mumbai alone, there are 70,000 to 80,000 such bags full of demonetised notes. By the end of this year, the RBI is likely to delay or keep aside the shredding of damaged notes of smaller denominations as all its shredding units will be taken up by the demonetised currency. An employee working with the RBI said to Mumbai Mirror that the RBI is not expecting to get back the money which was in circulation. But if 70 per cent of the demonetised notes comes for shredding then they have to deal with over 15,000 million notes.

On November 8, Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of old currency and six days after RBI received a bulk of old demonetised currency. After which the process of demonetisation began immediately. In last fiscal year (2015-2016), RBI report suggests that 625 million pieces of soiled thousand-rupee notes and 2,800 million pieces of 500-rupee notes were shredded. Also Read – Pay Day: Back to queues outside Banks, ATMs as employees to withdraw first salary after demonetisation

At 19 different locations across India, the RBI has around 40 verifying and shredding machines. Every time the RBI receives a delivery of soiled notes, the same is checked and the counterfeit currency is shredded before use.

RBI’s shredding machine, some imported from Japan and some from Germany, can destroy 2,50,000 notes in an hour. But some RBI officials believe that the shredding department have to work for at least two shifts to complete the process and there are possibilities that these machines may stop due to stress.

After 1978, this is the first time when RBI has faced such a big challenge and all eyes are on the apex bank for next few days.

There is also a discussion going on at the top level of RBI that how they can use shredded notes. In past, the RBI has used the shredded notes to make paperweights, files, briquettes and as landfill. But soon a call will be taken as to how to handle the waste in an eco-friendly manner.