Even 100 days after the Central government had banned ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, residents said that there seems to be no end to the cash crisis in Noida as ATMs dispense cash for only two hours a day.
Long queues were seen outside ATMs in prominent markets of Noida on Thursday morning. “The cash van visits Ganga market almost every day to fill the ATMs but the cash gets over in two hours. Post noon, none of the ATMs in Ganga, Brahmaputra and Jaipuria markets dispense cash,” Shailja Pandey of Sector 27 said.
Several ATMs in prominent marketplaces of Noida — sectors 18, 27, Brahmaputra, Ganga, Nithari, Jaipuria, sectors 55 and 60 — are running without cash.
The district lead bank manager, AK Singh, said that an ATM is loaded with ₹5 lakh on an average each time. “With the maximum amount being increased to ₹24,000, it does not take very long to withdraw ₹5 lakh. The situation will improve once the entire process of demonetisation ends and there is more clarity,” Singh said.
“Suppose a bank gets ₹20 lakh per day, it stores ₹5 lakh in its ATMs while the rest is for the bank’s customers,” Singh said.
Brahmdev of Sector 16 said, “Today, I had to withdraw ₹500 and I visited more than 25 ATMs in Sector 18 market but couldn’t get cash from any of them. I finally found a working ATM in Ganga market but there was a long queue.”
Taking cognizance of repeated complaints of cash shortage, the district magistrate NP Singh had said that the administration will soon direct all regional managers of Noida-based bank branches to ensure that there is sufficient cash in ATMs.
However, residents are not convinced that the increase in withdrawal cap is the cause for the cash crunch. Many also pointed out that cash shortage has worsened post the election day in the district.
“Cash supply was regular till 15 days ago. Since February 12, it has worsened in our area with all ATMs rendered useless. It makes us wonder whether the cash supply was forced due to elections,” Bhawesh Kumar of Mamura said.
Experts said that lack of management by banks is the main cause of cash crunch.
“Banks have cash but they store more for their own customers and allocate a meagre amount for the ATMs. The government is providing cash regularly but bankers lack efficiency and management,” PS Jain, the president of the confederation of NCR residents’ welfare association (CONRWA), said.
Jain suggested that regularisation of ATMs should be introduced as a measure by the Central government to end the cash crisis.
“₹5 lakh for each ATM is peanuts, considering the demand. The government should regularise ATMs so that banks are made to store maximum cash in the machines,” Jain said.