Hundreds and thousands of people lined up at banks and ATMs across the country on Thursday as the payday since the recall of high-value banknotes raised fears of more chaos amid the severe cash crunch.
Police guarded banks and cash dispensing machines in many places over the possibility of people’s anger spilling over with the government’s mints failing to churn out enough notes to keep up with the demand since the November 8 shock announcement took out 86% of the currency out of circulation.
Below are the updates from across the country:
Meerut| Angry customers barged into the Khairnagar branch of Allahabad bank and smashed counter glasses when they were informed about the unavailability of cash. Deputy general manager of Allahabad Bank admitted shortage of cash and said that he has written to the RBI to ensure adequate supply of cash.
Meerut city superintendent of police Alok Priyadarshi said he has advised bank managers to put up signboards displaying the amount of cash received and an estimated number of customers who could withdraw cash.
Delhi| Many people standing in queues outside banks said they had taken off from work to withdraw money as they had to clear pending bills.
“I had somehow managed the daily needs. But now the shopkeepers have stopped giving credit…the house maid, newspaper vendor and the washer man have started demanding money and that too in cash,” said Amit Vijay, 36, as he stood in queue outside a bank in Sarita Vihar in New Delhi.
• Fearing backlash from customers, the Punjab National Bank Officers’ Association have written to the CMD and CEO seeking adequate cash. “We have no cash…there is a huge shortage…this chaos will continue at least till the 10th (of this month),” said a senior official of a private sector bank.
Mumbai|There was no respite for people even on Thursday as they continued to wait in long queues to deposit and withdraw money.
Some people complained that though cashless transactions are useful, the local shops and hawkers don’t keep, or can’t provide card swipe machines.
“The local vegetable vendors and provision store owners don’t keep card machines nor do they have cashless transaction facilities. We have to withdraw money for that since those are the most basic needs,” said Shruti Gala, a Borivali resident waiting outside a long queue of a bank branch.
Kolkata| Long queues were seen outside banks. Since morning, most ATMs either ran out of cash or were dispensing only Rs 2000 notes.
The situation worsened as employees of several private companies also queued up to withdraw money to pay the salaries of staff.
“I didn’t waste my time standing in queues outside ATMs. First, the limit of withdrawing money from ATMs is small and second, they could run out of Rs 100 notes any time. Instead I rushed to the bank. I was behind around 20 people even at 8 am,” said Amiya Halder an employee of a private company.
Allahabad| Braving winter chill and fog, people queued up outside banks and ATMs.
“Life has been derailed completely. Never thought of facing such a chaos in life. Only Rs 2000 notes are available at the ATM in Civil Lines against maximum daily withdrawal limit of Rs 2500 as there are no Rs 500 currency notes,” said Sudhir Chawla, a businessman.