With most banks and ATMs across the capital shut due to unavailability of cash, people who queued up since midnight on Thursday to withdraw their salaries and those who needed money for their day-to-day expenses had to return home empty-handed. On an average, one ATM out of 10 in a locality was dispensing money. The Indian Express visited ATMs across the capital to take stock of the situation.
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*12 am, Laxmi Nagar, East Delhi: Around 40 people, mostly students, stand outside an SBI ATM in the area to withdraw money. Along the entire stretch from the Mother Dairy factory to the Laxmi Nagar Metro station, this is the only functional ATM.
*12.15 am, V3S Mall: Despite there being four ATMS in the vicinity, people frantically rushed towards a Standard Chartered Bank ATM. Two people withdraw money, after which cash runs out.
Rajeev Ranjan (26), who took a cab from his house 2 km away in Ganesh Chowk, had to leave without any money.
“My gas cylinder is empty… and I cannot cook anything. Once again, I will be forced to order food. My expenses have gone up by Rs 5,000 last month alone,” he said.
*12.45 am, Durgapuri Chowk, North East Delhi: Four flower vendors, sitting in their makeshift shops by the side of the road, said their business has taken a hit ever since demonetisation.
One of the vendors, Pinto (30), said, “Earlier, I used to sell flowers worth Rs 1,200 a day. Now, I make just Rs 700. With the onset of the marriage season, we had hoped for better business but very few people have actually come to buy flowers. I hope the situation gets better soon.”
Pointing to three temples across the road, Pinto said, “Our main customers were people who visited the temples every day. But the numbers have declined since November 8. Only some priests come buy flowers from us now.” Pinto, however, said it is “good to see rich and poor standing together in a queue outside ATMs”. “We will bear it for Modiji,” he said.
*1.36 am, Burari, North Delhi: The whole area wore a deserted look. A few motorists went from ATM to ATM looking for money, to no avail.
* 2.15, Outer Delhi, Rohini: Along the 800-m stretch from Bawana Road junction till Rohini Sector 18 Metro station, only one Vijaya Bank ATM was functional. Around 50 people could be seen waiting in line outside. The entire stretch has eight ATMs. Mohit Goel (32), who lives nearby and works in an MNC, had received his salary on November 30. “I came here directly from office as I need the cash. I have been standing here for the fifth time in the last 22 days,” he said.
*3 am, Jahangirpuri, North West Delhi: No ATM in the area was functional. However, business continued as usual at Azadpur Mandi.
* 3.40 am, South Delhi: Some ATMs in Defence Colony, South Extension seem to be working. In Southeast Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar area, markets remained deserted and ATMs were shut.