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Demonetisation: Queues outside banks, ATMs continue unabated

Man at an ATM

Mumbai : A day after banks remained closed on account of Guru Nanak Jayanti, Mumbaikars today again thronged banks and ATMs and were seen making a beeline for exchanging their old currency notes and withdrawing cash.

The ATMs were found to be working better as compared to earlier, giving some hope to the cash-strapped citizens that they may be able to withdraw some money faster.

Pramod Harlalka, a sub-broker in stock market, managed to withdraw Rs 10,000 from a bank at Bhayander in neighbouring Thane district.

He said, “It was really a soothing moment to find Rs 10,000. But the problem is that this is of notes of Rs 2,000 each. Now there is going to be another problem to use it. I am sceptical to use it for small payments, because there is scarcity of small denomination notes everywhere.”

He said that a major public sector lender’s statement to disburse Rs 20 and 50 notes was a welcoming step, but it should be done immediately.

Meanwhile, some residents also came to help those standing in queues by offering them tea and biscuits.

“I was on morning walk with my friends when we noticed dozens of people in a queue around 7 AM outside a bank at Manish Nagar in Char Bangla. Perhaps, they left homes very early in the morning without having breakfast. Therefore, with our friends, we arranged tea and biscuits and offered them,” said N K Bhartiya, a local resident.

Some people were relieved after finding that banks have started work with some improvisation.

Meera Dubey, a homemaker from suburban Santacruz, said, “Banks have now made proper arrangements for the people. Today there are separate lines for deposit and exchange. Also, senior citizens are being given due attention. It seems that banks have learnt few lessons from initial failures.”

However, a senior citizen, Bal Kumund Mishra (73), was unhappy as his bank did not allow him to withdraw Rs 24,000, as per new circular issued by the RBI yesterday.

“I was very much disappointed when bank officials informed me that I can get only Rs 10,000 though I showed them the copy of new circular. Bank people denied to give money more than Rs 10,000,” said Mishra, a Thane resident.

Another citizen, Om Prakash Joshi, while recounting his ordeal since last week, said, “My wife is admitted in Bethany hospital of Thane. Hospital management is not accepting cheque and insisting only for pay orders. Even medical stores are not accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. I fail to understand what to do? These are the worst days of our life.”

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