Residents thronged the 400-odd bank branches, the head post office and sub post offices across Ghaziabad to exchange their Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes that went taken out of circulation on November 8.
“The banks have a sufficient number of new notes available and there is no shortage,” RS Meena, manager of the lead bank, said.
“Nearly 99% of the customers who visited banks on Thursday came to get their old notes exchanged or deposit them to their account,” Meena said.
“We also appealed to loan defaulters to deposit their outstanding amount in the old scripts. The out-of-circulation Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes will be accepted for the purpose,” Meena said.
A lead bank is a private bank or a public sector undertaking that heads the consortium of all banks in the area. For Ghaziabad, Syndicate Bank is the lead bank.
The main branches of the banks witnessed the highest rush on the day.
Over a thousand customers thronged the main branches of banks for exchanging their demonetized currency notes or depositing money into their accounts.
PK Jha, chief manager of the main branch of State Bank of India, which is located at Navyug Market in Ghaziabad, said, “Our branch had no new notes today but more than 1,000 customers visited us. Most of them were looking to get new notes in lieu of the out-of-circulation ones.”
“The day was terribly hectic as each staff member was busy counting and disbursing the notes and keeping records. Our staff, especially the cashiers, hardly got around five to eight minutes to have their lunch,” he said.
“Refreshments were served to the staff on their table and no staff member could step out of the branch during the business hours,” he said.
The chief manager said that he also acted as a cashier and counted notes to help deal with customers.
“The major part of our work, which is tallying the books along with receipts and deposits, continued till late night although the business hours were only until 6pm. We also had around 400 customers who came to deposit the old notes,” Jha said.
According to estimates, the branch is likely to get nearly Rs20 crore for transactions on Friday.
A similar situation was witnessed across Ghaziabad. Long queues of customers filled the roads near the bank and even neighbouring areas.
The queues were seen till the evening, when banks closed.