THERE SEEMED to be no end to the woes of residents of Tricity as the majority of automated teller machines (ATMs) continued to run dry on Tuesday. The ATMs at the Bank Square in Sector 17 were dispensing cash and there were long queues with a waiting period of no less than 30 minutes. Tellers located at the other prime markets — sectors 8, 9, 10, 11 and 15 — were without cash.
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Yadvinder Dhillon, a resident of Mohali, who has a marriage in his family, visited bank branches located in sectors 8 and 9 to withdraw cash, but in vain. “The bank branches in Sector 8 and 9 ran out of cash before lunch,” he said.
Satinder Kumar, who was standing in a queue in SBI bank in Sector 17, said, “I have been to several ATMs in Mohali and in Chandigarh as well. There was no money in any of the ATMs. It was very difficult to manage without cash.”
The bank officials, however, said that the situation was getting better. “The situation has improved and we are releasing cash as per RBI guidelines. We have not sent one person back without cash. The RBI has set the maximum limit of Rs 24,000 a week. That is what we are releasing to the residents,” said J M Khurana, AGM, State Bank of India, Sector 17.
Ram Kumar, who was standing in a queue in Sector 17, said, “I am not in the habit of using digital money. I saw a long queue here and was happy to find an ATM with cash.”
Panchkula no different
ATMs and banks in Panchkula were without cash. At Sector 10 market, there are a total of eight ATMs of five different banks and they were cashless by 4 pm.
A senior official of a nationalised bank said that due to unprecedented rush, they were not being able to meet the demand despite refilling ATM machines more than twice a day.
People having bank balance below Rs 2,000 are not being able to withdraw money as most of the tellers are dispensing only Rs 2,000 notes. Dev Raj, 32, a factory worker, made three unsuccessful attempts to withdraw Rs 1,000 from his account. “I need money to buy medicine for my 10-year-old son and I tried to withdraw money from three different ATMs, but in vain,” said a dejected Dev Raj.
Following the directions of the district administration, bank branches in association with residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) are organising camps in sectors to generate awareness about the use of cashless mode of transactions.
Long queues in Mohali too
The residents again had to face problems as they did not get cash from ATMs and banks. Long queues were seen in Phase 3B2, Phase 5 and Phase 7. People were seen standing in the queues since morning. The banks, however, said that they had sufficient cash and whatever amount they were getting from the Reserve Bank of India, they were providing to the people.
Gurpreet Singh, a Phase 7 resident, said that he, along with two of his friends, was standing in the queue for withdrawing cash to attend the wedding of his friend but he could not withdraw money till 1 in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, District Lead Manager R K Saini said that they had already directed the banks to deposit the cash in the ATMs so that people should not face any problem.