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Cab giants Ola and Uber saw a surge in demand as their business, being linked to centralised online payment systems, was unaffected by the government’s demonitisation move.
Ola sent out a message telling commuters “DoNoteWorry”, offering them a 10 per cent cashback on the first online transactions on Ola Money. Drivers registered on app-based cab systems made it a point to ask customers if they were paying by cash or online before accepting a ride.
Autorickshaw and independent cab drivers, however, had a harrowing day with commuters refusing exact payments. Many were left stranded when they ran out of fuel. “When I went to refuel around 2pm, the gas station at Janakpuri refused to accept Rs 500 notes and I did not have change. I had to stop plying,” Balbir Singh, an autorickshaw driver from Tilak Nagar, said.
The DMRC, accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, saw commuters queuing up to get large smart card recharges. A DMRC spokesperson said, “There was almost 125% rise in Rs 500 transactions, almost a 100% increase in Rs 1,000 transactions and a corresponding drop by 60% in Rs 200 transactions. Other recharges were normal.”
At Sarita Vihar metro station, commuters demanded change at the ticket counter as harried staff ran out of Rs 100 notes. Instead, they began handing over pouches of coins worth Rs 200 and Rs 250 as change to willing customers.
The DTC on Tuesday night issued an alert to its drivers and conductors against accepting Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes from passengers, a driver said. Several skirmishes from bus stops were reported to police.