People across Jaipur continued to stand in long queues in front of automated tellers machines (ATMs) and banks even on Tuesday, seven days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped 1,00 and 500-rupee banknotes.
Though a number of banks and organisations offered drinking water to customers standing in queues, shortage of new banknotes and cash in ATMs raised tempers of customers, many of who returned home empty-handed.
While some banks arranged for drinking water dispensers outside the branches for the convenience of people standing in queues, elsewhere where no such arrangements were made, people were went without water.
The new 500-rupee banknotes that the Reserve Bank of India said will be available did not reach banks and ATMs running dry added to people’s woes.
FARMER DISTRIBUTES FREE VEGETABLES:
Bhanwar Singh (43), a farmer distributed organic vegetables to people standing in queue outside a bank at Vaishali Nagar neighbourhood in Jaipur.
“I decided to offer free vegetables to people standing in queue outside the bank for three reasons,” he said.
“First, Modi’s decision has broken the backbone of terrorists and naxals, who do not have bank accounts and keep huge cash with them. Second, I also wanted to create awareness among people about organic vegetables.
“ And third, I will be distributing free vegetables to people outside the banks until December 30,” said the farmer Hanumangarh who is now settled in the city.
From November 9, sale of vegetables have gone down so he decided to distribute free vegetables along with tea and water, he said.
CUSTOMERS FORCED TO BUY OTHER GOODS ALONG WITH MEDICINES:
City residents are happy that chemists and druggists will accept the banned currency until November 24, but at the same time, they said they were being forced to buy other goods apart from medicines due to shortage of change.
Imran Khan, 32, a businessman, said he went to a chemist shop to buy medicines for his family member and the bill for medicines was Rs 200, but he was asked to buy goods like shampoo for the remaining Rs 300, as he was paying an old 500-rupee banknote.
Though chemists are accepting the banned high-value banknotes, they said they unable to return the exact tender due to shortage of change, so they are requesting people to buy other goods or tender the exact amount or pay through debit or credit cards.
“There is shortage of change in the market, so I am asking customers to buy other household goods for the balance amount,” said a medicine shop owner, who did not wish to be named.
“If someone is paying Rs 1,000 for a bill of Rs 250, I am returning them Rs 500 and asking them to buy other items worth Rs 250,” he said.
Jaipur Chemists and Druggists Association president Amrish Kaushik said after the government’s permitted shop owners to accept the abolished currency until November 24, chemists across the state are accepting the scrapped banknotes, but there is a big problem of tendering change.