After three weeks since the Centre announced the demonetisation decision and two days after the banks reopened after the weekend holidays, queues outside banks and ATMs in the suburbs were found to be shorter on Sunday though citizens complained of not getting the desired amount withdrawn. Many citizens expressed concern that they may have to continue to face the hardships owing to the cash crunch for some more days.
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Archita Mishra, a resident of neighbouring Thane, said she felt short-changed by her bank as she could get only Rs 2,500 withdrawn over the counter.
“I went to the bank to withdraw Rs 24,000 and I was quite hopeful to get it as there was no rush at all today. But my hope faded away as the bank executive told me that I could get only Rs 2,500 as the bank didn’t have sufficient currency in its coffers,” she said, adding that the banks should put up a notice informing the people of the scenario. OP Sharma, a resident of suburban Bhandup, said though the queues had shrunken substantially, the banks needed to adopt a supportive attitude towards the senior citizens.
“While a few banks are making separate queues for senior citizens, State Bank of India is not mending its ways as a result of which, the elderly people are forced to stand in the line under the scorching sun. This should be corrected immediately,” said the retired Central Railway officer. He said the rush at the banks had reduced substantially since the exchange of scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes was halted.
Neelam Trivedi, a Ghatkopar-based homemaker, claimed that the banks today sent the people away citing liquidity crunch.
“It’s good that the huge rush and serpentine queues are reducing with the passage of days, but this is also a harsh reality that the people are returning empty-handed as the banks are unable to give them sufficient money due to the liquidity problem,” she said. Recalling how people were queueing up outside banks since the wee hours to either get their old currency notes exchanged or deposited till a few days back, Trivedi said the situation had changed now.
Goregaon resident Vinayak Sawant said, “I joined the queue at an ATM at 4 pm after seeing only six-seven people ahead of me. But, we could not withdraw more than Rs 2,000. I hope the situation will improve very soon.” As per the Reserve Bank of India, one can withdraw up to Rs 24,000 per week from their bank accounts, including withdrawals from ATMs.