First day of month: Long queues at banks & ATMs, pensioners bear the brunt

What caused inconvenience to the people was the fact that only few ATMs were working and the rest remained out of order due to unavailability of cash.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:December 2, 2016 6:16 am
demonetisation, ATM, ATM queues, ATM lines , salary day, pensioners suffer, ATM not working, ATM out of order, cash crunch, cash less, cash problem, india news, indian express news Outside an ATM in Sector 60, Mohali, on Thursday. (Source: Jasbir Malhi)

BANKS IN Chandigarh experienced a huge rush on Thursday, the first day of the month when people visited banks in large numbers to withdraw their salary and pension. At city’s Bank Square, located in Sector 17 which houses branches and offices of several private and government-owned banks, the banks remained filled with people.

Long queues were seen outside the ATMs at the square. What caused inconvenience to the people was the fact that
only few ATMs were working and the rest remained out of order due to unavailability of cash.

“There are so many ATMs available at this place, but only a few are working today. The Central government says that there is no cash problem. The ground reality is completely different. No one is able to get cash properly,” said
Sooraj, a city resident.

Senior bank officials said that rush on Thursday was “not normal”, but maintained the situation remained under control. To prevent any untoward incident, Chandigarh Police personnel were deputed at the Bank Square.

“All our branches in Chandigarh were filled today with salaried employees and pensioners for the entire day. The situation, however, remained under control. We received fresh cash from Reserve Bank of India,” Mohan Ganeshan, Deputy General Manager (Business and Operations), State Bank of India, told Chandigarh Newsline.

An official from another bank said that Thursday’s rush was the same which the banks recorded soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision of demonetisation.

Inside the banks, pensioners too had to wait for long to get their pension.

“I come every month to get my pension. But this time, it is not the same. They have issued me a token, but God knows if I would go back home with pension,” said Jagtar Singh, a Mohali resident who had come to SBI branch located at the Bank Square.

“This morning I reached early here because I was aware that the situation wouldn’t be the same as earlier. I waited for one hour, but I am happy that they gave me money,” said Sukhwant Singh, another pensioner from Chandigarh.