The rush was expected yet people who queued up outside Indore banks from early Thursday morning were quite upset at the snail’s pace with which now-defunct currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were being deposited or exchanged.
While bank employees were trying their best to speed up the process, the formalities of filling up forms along with serial numbers of currency notes were causing delays, especially when large sums were involved.
The entire process was time consuming as the cashier had to also enter serial numbers of the currency notes into the system. Some people who had come with their original ID cards but not photocopies were made to return.
Most banks asked customers to form two separate queues for depositing or exchanging currency notes. Many people had to wait outside the building as there was no space inside.
The central government has set the December-30 deadline for depositing currency notes. Thursday’s rush comprised people who did not have enough Rs 100 notes for daily expenses or those who wanted to deposit cash.
Manjeet Bhatia, a transporter, was one such customer who was waiting in queue at the Tower Chouraha branch of Bank of India before it opened up for business. “People are not aware about the procedures and they inquire about them when they reach the counters. This is adding to the delay,” he added.
The district administration had made adequate security arrangements to ensure there was no untoward incident. SP (West) Kalyan Chakravarty said a meeting of bank managers and police station in-charge officers was held in the morning to discuss the arrangements and ensure that entire process was smooth. A police constable was deployed at all the major bank branches. Indore has more than 400 bank branches and 34 post offices.
State bank of India zonal manager P K Balaji said there were sufficient currency notes at all the branches. Some banks also added more counters and extended the working hours. The banks will also remain open on Saturday and Sunday to facilitate the exchange process and the ATMs will also start functioning from Friday.
Reasons for delay
Long queues at all branches
Those not having ID proof photocopies were made to return
Forms to be filled along with serial numbers of currency notes
Cashiers entering serial numbers in the system
Beggar couple in Dewas wants to exchange Rs 500 notes worth Rs 98K
A beggar couple on Wednesday approached the sarpanch of Siya village in Dewas district seeking help to exchange Rs 500 denomination notes worth Rs 98,000.
Notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 ceased to be legal tenders on Wednesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday the decision to withdraw the high-value notes.
Beggar Sitaram, who is blind, and his wife told the sarcpanch that they had managed to raise the sum by begging in and around Siya village for past 20 years, but now did not know what to do. The couple is a native of Tonk in Rajasthan. The couple told the sarpanch that the local banks did not help them as they did not have any bank account. They said that they used to keep the money as deposit with different people, who had returned them the amount after the demonitisation of the currency notes.