Anticipating heavy rush when they opened after three days on Tuesday, most banks catered to only ‘home branch’ customers.
As a reason, several branches saw thin crowds and all the people could be accommodated inside the banks while those that had more customers still had long queues and several people had to return empty-handed.
The rule, however, caused inconvenience for a section of people, especially migrant labourers, students and people who do not have accounts in Delhi.
Ashfaq Ali, a resident of Old Delhi, said, “I waited outside a State Bank of India’s branch but the guard there told me that they will not allow customer from non-home branch. I had opened my account in Kanpur and the transfer process will take time. This is not the time to have such rules.”
Swet Muraraka, a resident of Mayur Vihar said, “I need cash to pay rent. My bank here is not letting people from non-home branch to enter. I do not have Delhi’s identity proof to get my account opened.”
Most bankers said that they will continue with the system of home branch for few more days as the situation was becoming uncontrollable.
A Corporation bank official in East Delhi said, “We are catering only to people who have accounts in bank today. We have limited cash so we cannot give to all the people.”
Till afternoon hours, the bank had reached to a position where they had to give R 10,000 in the form of R 10 soiled notes to one of its customers.
Justifying the practice of catering to home branch an official from Central Bank said, “We are mainly discouraging people who are coming from another branch as people were not going to their home branch and coming to those branches that had comparatively less crowd. This cannot be encouraged as banks that have less account also have less manpower or infrastructure to deal with people.”
The people that have accounts in other cities are given money is they give genuine reason, he added.
The banks in areas like Mayur Vihar , Lakhsmi Nagar and other areas of East Delhi were visibly less crowded due to the new practice. However, banks in Old Delhi or several banks on Asaf Ali Road continued to see the rush.
In Chandni Chowk area that has a dozen of banks on both sides of the road, long queue extending more than 200 metre could be sighted outside each banks. Mohammad Arif, a trader in the area said, “The banks in this area always remain crowded as it is a business hub and traders deals in running currency.”