Chaos reigns supreme as banks scramble to meet note demand

Reports of chaos and scuffle at bank branches and ATMs streamed in from different parts of the country.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:November 11, 2016 9:05 pm
banks, atm, queues, 500 rupee notes, 1000 rupee notes, currency exchange, news, latest news, India news, national news There were also heated exchanges between hassled customers and overworked bank officials at several branches. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

Frustration and anger boiled over amid chaos and serpentine queues at banks on Friday as less than half of ATMs were functional for only a few hours and banks struggled to cope with the rush for new currency notes. Servers broke down, as did patience, at most branches where the average waiting time to get the limited quota of valid notes came close to 3 hours. Despite the assurance, most ATMs across the country did not function and many branches ran out of cash, leaving people who waited for hours high and dry.

Watch: Demonetisation Effect- Long Queues Outside Banks, ATMs In Paharganj

“It has taken me three hours and when my turn came, I was told that there was no cash left. I have to make such a futile effort to withdraw my own money,” said a frustrated customer Shaswat Rai from Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. Reports of chaos and scuffle at bank branches and ATMs streamed in from different parts of the country.

There were also heated exchanges between hassled customers and overworked bank officials at several branches. Since the recalibration for higher denomination of valid notes is being done for ATMs, the stock of low value Rs 100 got over very fast because of the huge demand, said a banker. Many ATMs are still waiting for recalibration, the banker said, adding that the rush is expected to grow further during the weekend.

The country’s largest lender, SBI, was able to press into service only about half of its ATM network nationwide.

“We have also been able to put up 29,000 ATMs and cash deposit machines today. Of these, 21,000 ATMs were functional and the rest are CDMs,” SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said. Post offices which have been designated to exchange cash have also been a scene of chaos across the country.

Taking into consideration problems faced by people, the government has extended use of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for paying household utility bills, fuel, taxes and fees as well as purchases from co-operative stores by another 72 hours to November 14.

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  1. J
    Nov 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm
    current government is giving all indian middle cl and the poor an advance training to live with out cash as they know that this is going to be the condition of the nation by 2019
    1. M
      Nov 11, 2016 at 6:54 pm
      People who could tolerate corrupt regime all these decades can easily afford the inconvenience for few days as a result of the step taken! They should be on the guard not to be taken for another ride by the same people who s c r e w e d them up all these years!
      1. M
        Nov 11, 2016 at 6:27 pm
        Take note of those who are inviting chaos making an extra effort and trying to find s in an historic step that has been taken which is likely to change the mindset of those who are so used to corruption and corrupt practices. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Knowing from this experience, everything should be put in place so such measures can be taken from time to time if there is a need.
        1. P
          Nov 11, 2016 at 6:08 pm
          India is not west. It has a long way to progress. Patels are detrimental to non gujus. He should be accountable for unnecessary deaths involved. Seniors cannot handle stress of this kind. Sad hope pm introspects for common man. If it was to take on politicians why didn't he use legal advice.
          1. S
            Nov 11, 2016 at 9:22 pm
            Chaos is the way of life in India. The moment we step out of our house we see chaos . And the chaos just got bigger . Exactly how the game of black money just got bigger in the shadow of a good deed .
            1. T
              Nov 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm
              With one stroke, Modi succeeded where Rahul and the others failed. With one stroke, he made the lower cl, middle cl and upper cl suffer. With one stroke, he made enemies of everyone. Won't be surprised if BJP loses UP big time.
              1. D
                Nov 11, 2016 at 5:47 pm
                What was this urjit patel doing to implement this policy he should have been informed that the ATM cannot take the new notes without calibration lt;br/gt;To calibrate 2 lakh machine is not easylt;br/gt;I am. Sure people will now realise the common sense value of mr rajan lt;br/gt;He was so badly abused by intelligent lt;br/gt;s guess this is going to be very messy and there could be violence if people dont get money from banks
                1. M
                  Manohar Ignatius
                  Nov 11, 2016 at 6:49 pm
                  How many Grocers , rickshaws, food vendors take cards ....down to our last few 100 notes wife is on a short trip to Mumbai and cant wait hours in a queue with a one year old child in arms . getting scary now
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