Demonetisation: Queues get shorter, but problems remain

Bankers complained of shortage of Rs 100 notes and said that they have had mostly Rs 2,000 notes over the last couple of days.

By: Express News Service | Published:November 20, 2016 2:35 am
Fish sellers at Sassoon Docks in Mumbai deal in old Rs 500 notes to keep their sales going. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar) Fish sellers at Sassoon Docks in Mumbai deal in old Rs 500 notes to keep their sales going. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government was forced to press a helicopter into service on Saturday to fly Rs 9 crore to remote Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur before the onset of the harshest part of winter. Officials said that the cash shortage had created serious problems for the residents, who stock necessary items before snow blocks lifeline highways. The situation was much better in urban areas like Shimla, where tourists were seen withdrawing cash without any hassles.

Bangalore: Long lines for cash reduced significantly as banks halted exchange of old currency and deposits. But bankers complained of shortage of Rs 100 notes and said that they have had mostly Rs 2,000 notes over the last couple of days. “There is a lot of demand for Rs 100 notes and shortage of supply. We are forced to ration notes of this denomination,’’ said Nippani Shankar, a bank official.

Agra: Empty ATMs and cash crunch in urban areas left customers dejected in Agra while senior citizens welcomed the move to have exclusive arrangements for them. “We are very happy. How can senior citizen be with others in the same queue? This exclusive Saturday exchange made life easier for us,” said Binita Chaturvedi, an Agra resident.

Bank official Sanjay Pandey told The Indian Express that the queues outside banks have begun declining. “The number of people who want to exchange cash has decreased. Now people are coming either to withdraw cash or for other banking processes.’’

Nayantara Dubey, who spent three hours in a queue, said that bank authorities announced that there was no cash around 1 pm. “I came back home without money.’’

The situation in rural areas remained chaotic with many villagers sleeping, eating and drinking outside banks only to return home without money. “The bank was opened around 10 am while the timings have changed to 8 am. Influential people got priority and were the first to get cash. Around 12 pm, bank authorities announced that there is no cash left,” said Dheeraj Parihar, who had been sleeping outside banks for last three days at Baah, around 100 km from Agra.

Ahmedabad: Public as well as private banks in Gujarat reported cash shortage.

Ashok Singhvi, 66, who queued up for three hours to get cash, said, “The cash came at around 1 pm. Some server problem added fuel to the fire and the bank functioning got delayed. Due to limited cash, they were permitting a withdrawal of only Rs 10,000; that too only to home-branch customers.’’

Ranchi: Banks in Ranchi were facing problems due to high demand for Rs 100 notes. Officials said that ATMs were likely to begin dispensing Rs 500 notes from Sunday, which would subside the demand for Rs 100 notes.