Serpentine queues were back in front of most of the ATMs of Delhi on Saturday — a bank holiday — with people queuing up for hours to withdraw some precious cash.
At some places — like a Punjab National Bank ATM in Patel Nagar and a Yes Bank ATM in Rajendra Nagar — had queues stretching up to 300 metres on Saturday.
Bankers warned that the next two days could be worse.
Several ATMs in the city, which are under banks’ direct control, were not refilled on Saturday and were dispensing cash that had been filled late on Friday evening. Sources said that most of the ATMs in the city, that are not under a bank’s supervision, might not be replenished in the next two days due to holidays.
A senior official of a public sector bank said: “Most of the ATMs were filled on Friday night as banks were going on a three-day holiday. Since, the banks will be closed for three days chances are rife that the ATMs that are under the bank’s supervision will be again refilled.”
There are two kinds of ATMs in the city. One which is under the direct supervision of the banks, while others that are outsourced to third party for refilling.
Most of the ATMs in the city are outsourced to third party.
“ATMs that are under third party may go dry. But those under the bank’s direct supervision will get replenished if the banks have enough cash in store. The outsourced ATMs are completely dependent on currency chest,” the official added.
The ATMs linked to a branch could also easily be refilled owing to their proximity to the bank branch. ATMs that are under third party have bigger constraints as they have to manage logistics for bringing cash, negotiating with currency chest etc, he added.
In Krishna Nagar, for instance, 90 percent of the ATMs were found not to be working on Saturday.
The only ATM that was working was that of Indian Bank. A bank official who had just replenished the ATM said: “It is our holiday but we had to come to replenish the ATM as we did not want people to suffer.”
On Saturday morning, there were hardly any ATMs that dispensed cash in areas of west Delhi like Uttam Nagar, residents complained.
In Central Delhi’s Connaught Place the condition comparatively improved in the evening hours with five-six ATMs found to be functional and dispensing cash. In other parts of Delhi, however, Hindustan Times found not more than one ATM functioning at a time.