Demonetisation: At villages near Bhiwandi in Mumbai, it’s an endless wait for cash to buy food

The Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes are not being accepted in their local markets.

Written by Deepak Joshi | Mumbai | Published:November 18, 2016 5:07 am
sho-queue-759 Villagers from Angaon near Wada stand in queue to exchange old currency. Express Photo Deepak Joshi

FOR RESIDENTS of villages near Bhiwandi on the outskirts of Mumbai, each day begins with the hope of being able to change their now demonetised currency notes to cash they can buy food with.

“For the past three days, I have been doing the rounds of the bank but returning empty handed. Despite having money, it feels like I am bankrupt. I don’t know for how many more days I will have to come to the bank,” said 67-year old Gunwanti Patil, a resident of Supegaon in Wada taluka.

Many women like Patil belonging to villages around a Union bank branch at Angaon in Bhiwandi taluka have a similar story to tell.

The Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes are not being accepted in their local markets. Unable to buy food, the women travelled to Angaon but had to return after the banks ran out of cash, they claim. Residents said that after a few trips to the bank in the past few days, now, they do not have change to pay for the bus tickets to travel to Angaon. Laxmi Jadhav, a resident of Avleta village in Wada, lives 10 km away from the bank. She walked to the branch on Thursday. “I left home at 6am to walk to the bank at Angaon. This has been my routine for the past two days. I could not get any money today as well and now will have to walk back home,” Jadhav said.

The women claimed the bank was not issuing tokens for those who did not get the money, due to which they have to stand in queue again on the next day.