Despite the Centre’s claims that the situation is easing with every passing day after demonetisation was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cashless residents in the district are now forced to spend their nights outside banks.
With prevailing shortage of cash at most of the banks and ATMs even three weeks after the announcement of the note ban on November 8, the idea behind the desperate move is to secure some money early in the morning.
PROTEST AGAINST MODI
Several residents of Lehragaga and Hathan, who spent Wednesday night outside a branch of the State Bank of Patiala (SBoP), staged a protest raising slogans against the Modi government.
“The government did not do its home work and failed to make enough preparations before implementing such a big decision. The common man has been abandoned to die in queues or to hold protests at foggy nights, but the rich are managing to get cash without trouble,” said Deepak Jain in Lehragaga.
“I have been roaming around to arrange some cash for my sister’s marriage. Even as I have sufficient money in my account, I was told to get documents signed by the SDM (sub-divisional magistrate), halwai and even beauty parlour owner. What nonsense!” said Ashok Kumar, another resident of Lehragaga.
“I have been roaming to arrange some cash for my sister’s marriage. Despite I have sufficient money in my account, I was told to mark a letter from SDM, halwai and even from beauty parlour. What nonsense!”
MID-DAY MEAL PROBLEM
Even some school teachers, who complained that they have no money to buy material for mid-day meal, also joined the night protest.
“We have been spending money from our own pockets to purchase ration for over three weeks, but enough is enough. We cannot run this scheme without cash,” said Gurcharan Singh, a school representative.
Protesters said not only SBoP, but other banks are also denying poor people money, citing lack of cash, even as affluent people manage to get it.
“The argument is baseless. We never made any favour to anyone. Banks are facing acute shortage of cash. The demand is high and the supply is low. Now, we are receiving cash only between `2 lakh and `6 lakh per day as against `1 crore to `1.5 crore that we got earlier, ” said Sanjay Kumar, manager, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC).