People in the national capital rushed to Metro and Railway booking counters, petrol pumps, Mother Dairy outlets and other cooperative stores as the exemption on use of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at public utilities was to come to an end on Thursday. The government, however, tonight extended till December 15 the facility of using old Rs 500 notes in public utilities and included more services like mobile recharge but stopped the over-the-counter exchange of defunct currencies and use of Rs 1,000 notes.
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Delhiites were seen buying household necessities in bulk and filling up their car and motorbike tanks to the limit to use their old notes. Several people have not been able to exchange or deposit old currency notes which they already had due to the huge rush at banks.
“I am old and cannot stand for a long time. I had gone to bank three times. First time I had to stand for over three hours to exchange notes. Later I went to deposit money twice but came back home as there was rush. Today I will buy stuff for home and medicines and try to deposit the rest of the notes in bank later,” said 68-year-old Vinod Jha, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase I.
With most outlets running out of change, fuel stations and milk booth operators faced a hard time dealing with customers, that led to commotion and quarrels. Kamalika Sharma, who was at a queue outside a metro ticket counter, said, “I had a Rs 1,000 note and have used it to top up the metro travel card.”
After the government announced demonetisation on November 8, it had allowed use of old notes at government milk booths, government hospitals, fuel stations and railway ticketing for 72 hours.
However, as queues outside banks and ATMs prolonged due to huge rush and people complained of cash crunch, the government extended the deadline by another 72 hours and included prescribed medicine, metro rail tickets, highway toll, LPG gas cylinders, water and electricity bills and ASI monuments. The landline later was further expanded on November 14 till November 24 for the convenience of people.