Banks and ATMs in the city witnessed heavy rush on Tuesday and many ran out of cash within hours. Since Monday was a holiday on account of Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary, the rush was considerably high on Tuesday.
Serpentine queues were seen outside banks and ATMs across the city as people struggled to exchange their demonetised `500 and `1,000 banknotes and carry other transactions from their accounts. Their problems were further compounded by rumors about duplicate notes of `2,000. At many places, shopkeepers refused to entertain such notes.
Karamjit Singh, a city resident, said, “I received a `2,000 banknote from the bank in exchange of the demonetised currency but the problem remains the same for me as many people have refused to accept it owing to the rumors about duplicate notes.”
He added, “Despite having the new currency in my hand, I was unable to spend it for minor expenses as nobody was willing to return the balance amount in `100 banknotes.”
Avtar Singh, a resident of Model Town said, “I visited many ATMs and banks but could not avail cash as they ran out of it.”
Meanwhile, bank officials worked harder to cater to their customers. Apart from setting up extra counters, banks were also allotted additional staff from the zonal offices to handle the increased rush.
Senior bank officials have advised the public not rush to the banks unless absolutely necessary.
“People have a 50-day time limit to exchange the demonetised banknotes. Our staff is trying its best and is working till late night everyday to serve the customers,” said a bank manager.