Even though the automated teller machines (ATM) opened on Friday, Mumbaiites had a tough time as some of them ran out of cash shortly, leading to serpentine queues outside the few ATMs that were working.
A case in point could be the ATM at Chinchpokli, which was emptied within three hours. “I spent hours on depositing older currency notes in a bank in Byculla,” said 40-year-old Mahesh Dayme, who was there to collect Rs2,000, the maximum withdrawal allowed at ATMs.
Tapas Biswas, a 58-year tax consultant from West Bengal, who was in the city, along with his wife Tinku, 48, for his cancer treatment, said they visited four-five ATMs in Dadar-Parel, only to find the one at Chinchpokli open.
“Some ATMs allowed cash deposit, but none of them had any cash for withdrawal,” he said. “I had enough Rs100 notes at home. But now I am in need of loose cash,” said Mayur Pawar, a 30-year old engineer. “I didn’t spend much during the past few days and used my debit card for payments,” said Reshma A, 29, a dentist.
A visibly furious man outside a bank on Mohammed Ali Road, said, “The bank ATM is closed, and the bank is distributing Rs2,000 notes. What’s the point? Who will accept it? Had they given Rs500 notes, we would have at least bought some groceries,” he said.
Leela Pandit, 75, a homemaker, who visited a Dahisar branch of the State Bank of India, said she spent more than five hours trying to exchange the high-denomination notes that she received as pension.
She left home around 10am after having a light breakfast.
Dileep Khanolkar, a resident of Sion, said, “For a few days, citizens need to step out of their comfort zone and manage with less money. This is for the greater good.”