Long queues and scuffles between exasperated customers outside banks and ATMs marked the day on Friday as residents waited to exchange Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes following the Centre’s demonetisation move. Harish Kumar, who works at a jewellery store in Pamposh Enclave in Greater Kailash, took leave from work early to make it to the HDFC bank in the neighbourhood on time. “It has been over three hours and I am still waiting with this form in hand. I hope I will make it before the bank closes or they run out of currency notes. This is an absolute waste of our time and could have been handled better by the government,” Kumar complained.
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Minor scuffles were reported at a bank at CR Park as customers got impatient waiting in long queues for hours. Several ATMs across the city did not open till mid-morning while several others that did ran out of notes by afternoon, customers reported.
“Some of my colleagues said a bank in Barakhamba Road was drawing out money from its own ATM to give cash to the customers who had queued up outside,” Anjana Moitra, who works with a law firm told, The Indian Express. “I will hold out for the next few days and manage with whatever cash I have. It will not be possible to spend an entire day waiting outside a bank as I have no leaves left.”
Titu Sen, a migrant from Habra in West Bengal, who works as a domestic help, said, “I took leave today from all the houses just to get all my savings exchanged. We have been saving a part of our earnings for years now and are really worried about losing it if the exchange does not happen. So my husband, son and I all have queued up here to fix the situation.”
Seventy-year-old Arvind Kumar, who lives in Khanpur, first waited outside a State Bank of India branch and after three hours when the queue hardly moved, he shifted to an ICICI bank.
“I have been shuttling between banks since morning. But thankfully, I did manage to get Rs 4,000 exchanged. However, even though I insisted on not being given Rs 2,000 notes, the bank staff insisted they were short of lower denomination notes and I had to come back with these two,” Kumar said.
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