Additional counters were opened at all banks and help desks were set up outside to help senior citizens on Saturday so that did not have to stand in queues to withdraw money.
The Indian Banks’ Association had said that senior citizens could go to any branch on Saturday to exchange scrapped notes.
Bank officials said the rush on the weekend was lesser than previous days and exchange and withdrawal of money went off smoothly. Banks opened a single window for senior citizens and even made seating arrangements for them. They could withdraw Rs 2,000 from their bank and get the same amount exchanged. Banks were giving new Rs 500 banknotes in return of the scrapped currency.
Prem Singh (73), who had come from SAS Nagar to the State Bank of India (SBI) Sector 17 branch to deposit money, complained that he had to wait for nearly two hours. “But the banks provided had made seating arrangement,” he said.
“They also have to have to their lunch. We are seated comfortably here,” he said.
Suresh Kumar Jaiswal (67) said, “There used to be two additional counters for senior citizens here. They closed them and instead of increasing their number.”
In Panchkula, Jatin Sapra, a businessman, decided to help his maternal and paternal grandmothers, aged 68 and 70. He stood with them in a queue at the Sector-11 branch of Allahabad Bank.
“They are both widows, and their pension accounts are with the SBI branch which was too crowded. I brought them here as I have a account at the Allahabad Bank so that we could withdraw some money from my account for the time being,” said Sapra.
KC Arora (65), a local resident, said he was happy to see the bank officials being cooperative. Getting out of the Sector-10 branch of Canara Bank, he said he got some time to meet his son-in-law who had come from Delhi.
RD Agarwal (78), who has retired from the Central Bank of India, was struggling as he was carrying a walking stick.