When ATMs reopened two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s big move to demonetise two big currency notes, long and winding queues were reported in many cities and states. Although the two-day break was intended to stock ATMs with new currency notes. many of the cash vending machines were soon out of money after people flocked to exchange their notes. Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were declared invalid starting Tuesday midnight by the government in a bid to flush out black money.
WATCH VIDEO: India Queues Up Outside ATMs
Currently, withdrawal from the ATMs is limited to Rs 2000 per card in a day up to November 18. The limit will be raised to Rs 4000 from November 19 onwards per day. India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, said it would take 10 days at least for things to settle down.
Here’s how some of the cities and states fared:
Residents of the city expressed rage over standing in long queues to exchange currency in order to meet daily expenses. The Delhi Police had beefed up security at major banks and ATMs to meet with public anger. People were fuming over the fact that many of the ATMs had not stocked up new currency or had no money at all. “I had woke up at 4 AM and rushed to the ATM to get cash but found that there was already a crowd who were complaining
that there was no cash,” 62-year-old Vimla Devi told PTI.
Some residents said it was getting difficult to survive solely through online shopping.
Kerala also witnessed similar scenes with people queuing up early in the morning to withdraw money from the ATMs. But against the promise of banks that all ATMs will function normally, that was not the case. The public were angry that many ATMs were shut. The most affected were elderly people and women who were seen patiently standing in queues to collect money. It was clear that for many people, their daily life and activities had been marred by the currency crisis.
In the financial capital too, people were seen lining up to collect money through banks and ATMs amid assurances by the government not to panic. Many ATMs in south Mumbai, Dadar, Lalbagh, Parel and Ghatkopar were found to be non-functioning.
Ajeet Singh, a media professional, told PTI that when he went to an ATM in suburban Andheri, he found it closed. On enquiring with a bank executive, the latter suggested him to come after an hour or two.
“But when I went to exchange demonetised notes with new ones, I was told that the bank has not received the money yet and it would start exchanging it at 4 PM only,” he told PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)