Nearly a month after the demonetisation announcement, queues outside banks and ATMs are still a common sight but people said the situation had improved a little. Some private banks managed to shorten the queues.
“We see a smooth queue here after a long time. I hope the year ends well. I have been waiting for 40 minutes and am almost inside,” said Rambha Keerti, a homemaker, who was found outside a bank in Mahim.
There were similar scenes at cooperative banks with people managing to withdraw cash in less than an hour. Though these banks did not offer the cash that was promised to them under the new limit, people seemed to be at ease.
“Their services are better because the they have adequate staff for people waiting in queues. It has been almost a month now. They shouldn’t lack funds,” said Ramesh Bhave, who was waiting outside a bank in Dharavi.
Nationalised banks across the city continued to offer less than the Rs 24,000 cap announced by the government, dispensing money at their convenience instead.
People were angry with the arbitrariness but the queues had become shorter.
“How can banks have their own cap on dispensing money? First, the government will put a cap, then banks will do as they please. Where are we supposed to go?” said Karan Patel, a college student, who stood in a queue ouside a bank in Andheri.
ATM kiosks continued to run dry within hours after they were refilled. “It is almost as if money is vanishing from the machine. Every ATM kiosk has a queue,” said Ghanshyam Gosavi, a fruit vendor waiting in a queue at Dharavi.
“They (banks) should start ATMs only after they close their bank branches. People will get at least some relief after the banks pull their shutters down. Otherwise people are just roaming about on the streets to withdraw money,” said Ahmed Raza, a cycle shop owner, waiting in a long ATM queue in Kandivli.