Residents continued to feel the heat of demonetisation of higher currency notes for the sixth consecutive day as many returned empty handed from ATM booths on Monday. The banks were closed due to a government holiday.
Most ATMs were emptied in hours, leaving thousands angry and frustrated.
“I visited three ATMs in Sector 18 and Mall of India but could not withdraw money as they all were out of cash by the time it was my turn. I spent nearly five hours standing in the queues outside various ATMs to withdraw money, but got nothing in the end,” Isha Singh, a Delhi resident who was visiting Noida, said.
She said that there were long queues outside all five ATMs in the area in the morning but they wore a deserted look in the afternoon due to a shortage of cash.
A similar situation had prevailed on Sunday, as most ATMs ran dry soon after they were refilled with cash, but the situation was offset as banks were functional.
Residents hoped that the ATMs would be stocked on Monday and they started lining up from early morning.
“I returned disappointed from ATMs. There was a heavy rush outside ATMs in the morning and I thought I would visit one in the afternoon. To my disappointment, I saw boards of ‘no cash’ displayed at all booths. Later, I went to Spice Mall in Sector 29 but the situation was the same. I needed cash urgently,” Dr CB Jha, a trader at Atta Market, said. He said that the government should have made better arrangements.
Sudhir Srivastava, a member of Noida Entrepreneurs Association (NEA), said, “We have supported the demonetisation scheme of the government as it is for a genuine reason. But now, we feel that the government came up with it without adequate preparation and this has resulted in a crisis and harassment of the common man. When banks were closed on Monday, ATMs should have been filled with enough cash to meet our demands. Most ATMs I visited were closed.”
However, some banks said they took steps to feed ATMs with adequate cash.
Purushottam Sharma, the manager of Union Bank of India, Sector 6 branch, said, “I personally visited ATM booths and got them fed with cash on Monday. I also deployed security staff to manage the crowd. People withdrew money without any hassle.”