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Frustrated bank customers in Gurgaon take to roads

Residents started losing their temper on Tuesday as they did not get sufficient cash for the third consecutive working day

gurgaon Updated: Dec 07, 2016 10:32 IST
Rashpal Singh
Rashpal Singh
Hindustan Times
demonetisation,cash shortage,Gurgaon-Nuh road
Villagers block traffic on the Pataudi-Haily Mandi road in Pataudi on Tuesday as the banks did not open due to cash crunch.

Residents started losing their temper on Tuesday as they did not get sufficient cash for the third consecutive working day. Irked over non-availability of cash, several villagers blocked the traffic in Sohna and Pataudi. Commotion and altercations between customers and bank officials were also reported from a bank branch in Sector 14.

More than 150 villagers blocked the traffic on Gurgaon-Nuh road when a branch of Syndicate Bank, the lead bank of Gurgaon district, remained closed past 10am. Customers waited for one and a half hours, but when bank officials failed to turn up, they blocked the traffic on the road.

Women sat on a dharna, following which the police reached the spot and pacified the protesters, including the elderly.

The protesters alleged that the bank staff had informed one another about the situation outside the branch premises and were waiting in a nearby street, instead of opening the branch.

Santosh Kumar, the police post in-charge, said that the protesters were explained about the cash crunch, after which they left the spot. Sukhbir Singh, the assistant commissioner of police for Sohna, also reached the spot to pacify the protesters. The police assured protesters that cash would be available on Wednesday.

70-year-old Surto Devi said that she has been coming to withdraw her pension since Friday. “I have been coming here to withdraw my pension since Friday, but had to return empty handed. Banks officials say there is no cash and ask me to come next day,” she said.

She was sitting outside the branch, despite the shutters being down.

A similar situation persisted in bank branches in Lakhuwas and Raipur areas of Sohna. Bank officials said they did not open the branches in fear of confrontations with angry customers, due to the lack of cash.

In Pataudi, angry villagers blocked the Pataudi-Haily Mandi road for about an hour before the police and administration officials reached the spot.

Residents were infuriated after bank officials locked a branch of Syndicate bank and put up a notice of no cash.

The protesters went to Mini Secretariat and met Ravinder Yadav, sub-divisional magistrate of Pataudi, who promised them that cash would be available by Wednesday morning and told them that the banks did not receive cash on Tuesday.

Ramesh Chandra Nayak, lead bank manager, said that the situation is same in almost all banks. “The banks are expected to receive cash by Tuesday evening that will be disbursed on Wednesday. People should retain their calm and cooperate with bank officials who are working overtime,” he said.

On Tuesday, six currency chests in Gurgaon, with a capacity of Rs.3,213 crore had just Rs.6.2 crore in reserve. The reserve cash on Monday was just Rs.2.2 crore.

Read more: Gurgaon banks set own withdrawal limits to accommodate all

First Published: Dec 07, 2016 10:32 IST