Kohima: The State Bank of India has launched the ambitious 'Bank on Wheel' project in Nagaland to deliver banking services at the doorstep of rural people even where there was no branch.

Nagaland Development Outreach (NDO), a development arm of Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), has been assigned to deliver SBI services to the unreached with a stipulated time frame for opening accounts for them.

Launching the project at a function here on Wednesday, State Minister for Higher and Technical Education Shurhozelie Liezietsu expressed optimism that rural people would get banking services where there were no branches.

Stating that the state government would extend all help to SBI and NDO in their initiative, the Minister said out of the 114 bank branches in Nagaland, 75 were concentrated in Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung districts leaving the remaining eight districts with only 39 branches.

Managing director (National Banking Group) of SBI A Krishna Kumar said He said 70 to 80 percent of the people in Nagaland did not have access to banking facilities.

Hence, under financial inclusion programme, the 'Bank on Wheel' was launched to reach the unreached, he said.

Under this initiative, the mobile banking van would visit 5 to 6 villages twice a week to facilitate the rural people open accounts and during the first phase the NDO would cover villages having a population of 2,000 and more without banking facilities within March, the MD informed.

In the second phase, which would commence from April, the mobile van would go to the villages having a population of 1,000 and above.