Winding queues of panicking customers outside banks and post offices across India continued to grow longer on Friday, as millions of people tried to exchange banknotes the government pulled out of circulation.
Unable to handle the mad rush, banks often run out of cash within hours and most ATMs continue to remain closed .
If you are unable to use your credit/debit cards or get change from crowded banks, post offices and ATMs, here are five things you need to do today to survive the next week.
1 Stock up on fruits, vegetables, milk and ice-cream
Government outlets, such as Mother Dairy in Delhi, are still accepting old Rs 500/1000 notes. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, milk, even ice-cream so that you don’t run out of food.
2 Recharge your travel cards
All public transport will stop accepting old notes. One way to get rid of invalid notes is by recharging travel cards -- all metro stations across Delhi-NCR, for example, are still accepting Rs 500/1000 notes. You can also buy tickets with old notes at bus terminals, railway reservation counters and airports.
3 Pay your pending water, electricity or phone bills
Power distribution companies – such as Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), BSES Rajdhani (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) in Delhi and UPPCL (Noida) – are accepting old notes till Thursday evening. Go ahead, pay your power bills by cash. The same for water -- Delhi Jal Board, for example, is accepting Rs 500/1000 notes today. BSNL and MTNL users can also pay their phone and internet bills with old cash.
4 Fill your fuel tank
Petrol and CNG stations are going to accept old notes for one last day. Beware of the long queues, and don’t expect any change.
5 Stock up on medicines
Buy a week’s supply of all the medicines you need, or may need. But do this only at a hospital or pharmacy run by the government.
These steps will keep you going until you can get your hands on fresh currency notes.