Currency switch: Teething trouble, say some, as lines shorten

Saturday was the third time since the November 8 demonetisation announcement that Sharma stood in a queue to withdraw money.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:November 20, 2016 4:31 am
old-people-759 As senior citizens queued up, some said problems only temporary. Renuka Puri

QUEUES OUTSIDE some ATMs and banks in north Delhi were shorter on Saturday as only senior citizens were allowed to exchange old currency and more newly calibrated ATMs started to function.

“The lines are at least 20 per cent shorter today and the ATMs are dispensing Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. It seems like things are finally looking up,” said Naresh Sharma, 37, a resident of Model Town I, who was sixth in line outside a State Bank of India ATM. He had been waiting for 30 minutes.

Saturday was the third time since the November 8 demonetisation announcement that Sharma stood in a queue to withdraw money. The first day, November 10, saw him waiting for two hours to withdraw Rs 2,000. But he doesn’t mind. “I believe this move is in the favour of people and these are only teething troubles. The salaried class is not worried,” he said. Jaikishan Gupta, 78, a resident of the same area, agreed with Sharma. “My son has been withdrawing money for me and he has not complained once. Every new step will be met with resistance. When I wear a new shoe, it has to be broken into. This slight inconvenience we are facing is similar,” said the former businessman. He lives with his two sons in Model Town I.

“Bank employees are overworked and that is why senior citizens are not getting the same respectful treatment as before, but it is understandable. It is only a matter of a few days,” he added.

A few kilometers away in Punjabi Bagh, residents in gated colonies shared the sentiment. “Things are better organised today. A few ATMs that were not working till Friday have now started dispensing new notes. I think people can make a few adjustments and make do with less for a few days,” said Meeta Sachdeva, a resident of Punjabi Bagh West.

Residents of a JJ Cluster near the residential area, however, said the move has come with numerous problems. “I have been going to the bank every day for the past five days to exchange money, but have been turned back. I have missed work each of these days. As a daily wage labourer, I get Rs 200 a day and I have had to forego that. There is no cash left at home and I only found out today that the bank will not exchange money today or on Sunday. What will we eat now?” said Dharamvati, 35.