BANKS ACROSS the Tricity opened to heavy rush on the third consecutive day as people queued up to deposit and exchange old currency notes Saturday. All public and private sector banks were open as per the directions of the Union government to allow people to exchange old currency.
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However, the rush of people eased as the day progressed. The long serpentine queues outside banks in the morning cleared by afternoon and only those who wanted to deposit the cash remained in the queues. Some banks, including Punjab National Bank (PNB), also started token system in some branches to streamline the process.
“The rush of customers reduced considerably today. Majority of people had come for depositing cash and those who wanted to withdraw went to the ATMs. The rush will ease in the next few days,” said J M Khurana, assistant general manager.
More ATMs opened for cash withdrawals across the Tricity, providing some relief to people. However, many of them ran out of cash after a few hours and were half shut causing resentment among the people who then rushed to ATMs in other areas.
Lead Bank Manger, Panchkula, S L Paul said people can withdraw a maximum of Rs 2,000 from the ATMs on one day. “They cannot withdraw more than Rs 2,000 from the ATM and Rs 4,000 from the bank one day, with a cash limit of Rs 20,000 per week. The banks have also linked their servers, so one cannot withdraw money twice in a day,” he said.
Bank officials urged people to bring photostat copies of their identity proof when they visit banks to deposit money. The bank will remain open on Sunday as well and different banks have notified separate timings for withdrawal and exchange. Tempers flared at some places, after Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were allegedly not being accepted. A confrontation also took place between Mohali Councilor Sahibi Anand and managing director of one of the private hospitals in Sector 69, Mohali over bill payment. Sahibi insisted on making the payment in Rs 500, which the staff refused and it led to an argument. The police was informed and a complaint was submitted by both parties – the Councillor and the hospital management – against each other. No case was registered.