Long ATM queues not for them: ‘Moneyless’ Kashmir calm over note ban
As the rest of the country struggles post-demonetisation, Kashmir is an oasis of calm with no queues at ATMs and banks.Updated: Dec 10, 2016, 09:39 IST
Consider visiting Kashmir if you are desperate for cash. The ATMs here have currency and the queues at most places are no more than 4-5 people long.
Swept by violent protests since the death of Hizbul Mujhahideen commander Burhan Wani in July, the Valley at the moment is an unlikely oasis of calm at a time when the rest of India is in the midst of a cash crunch following last month’s demonetisation decision.
“There was a rush on the first two days, but everything is normal now. The queues are nothing like what we see elsewhere in the country,” says Aijaz Ahmed, the Sopore branch head of Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
“In the five months of unrest, people could not earn and all savings were exhausted. So, what will people take out.”
Residents and experts say the absence of any rush, though without parallel, is not surprising.
“People would have taken out money had there been any savings. In the five months of unrest, people could not earn and all savings were exhausted. So, what will people take out?” says Professor Mohi-ud-Din Sangmi, who works at the department of business and financial studies at Kashmir University.
Ahmed agrees. “One of the reasons can be the coming to standstill of all economic activities in the unrest. People do not have that much money in their hands,” he says.
Mushtaq Ahmed Tantray, an apple trader in Sopore, echoed the same thoughts. “Everything was shut for at least five months. Labourers, traders, businessmen could not work as usual, and hence their savings were depleted,” he says.