After a week of reduced rush, trailing queues were back at the ATMs in the Capital on Saturday. Several parts of Delhi saw a big rush at ATMs as people queued up to withdraw cash for clearing monthly dues.
“We expected low rush today as several ATMs have been recalibrated to dispense the new ₹500 and ₹2,000 notes but people are now queuing up to hoard money for bills as the month is nearing an end,” a bank official said.
Among the people queued up at the ATMs were also those who could not withdraw on working days. Outside a State Bank of India ATM , where around 80 people were queued up, Abhijeet Viswas, an employee of a private firm in Noida and a resident of Mayur Vihar, said, “The grocery store and vegetable vendors of our neighbourhood gave us credit for a first few days but now they are asking for cash as they too have to pay to whole sellers who are refusing credit.”
As the ATMs are still being recalibrated for the new notes of higher denominations, the stock of ₹100 notes was exhausted quickly, a banker said. Many people were also seen taking out ₹1,900 instead of ₹2,000 as they needed change. “Big payments are done online. I needed the change to pay washer man, news paper vendor etc. So I chose to withdraw ₹1,900 instead of ₹2,000,” said Deepak Pandey outside HDFC bank ATM in Saket.
There were also reports of some ATMs running dry by afternoon. “Several ATMs ran out of cash in our area within a few hours due to the heavy rush,” said Pratap Suryawanshi, a resident of Punjabi Bagh.
Saurav Gupta of New Ashok Nagar said, “The notes of ₹100 denomination at SBI ATM were over in three hours. Now it is only dispensing ₹1,000 notes.”
The problem is expected to escalate on Sunday if cash is not replenished at the ATMs as the banks will be closed over the weekend leaving ATMs, few petrol pumps and some Big Baazar shops as the only option to get cash.