People continued to throng banks and ATMs in Tamil Nadu to exchange or deposit scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for the fourth consecutive day today, but many cash vending machines ran dry after a few hours. People lined up before bank branches since morning and with several more ATMs today dispensing Rs 100 notes, it came as a big relief to the harried public. Customers at PSU lenders, including SBI and Bank of Baroda besides private banks, said they were able to withdraw cash from ATMs and that they got the “crucial Rs 100,” notes.
Coming out from a bank, V P Radhakrishanan, a private sector employee, told PTI, “I got Rs 100 notes … the number of people waiting has also thinned down compared to morning.” The RBI regional office here on Rajaji Salai attracted a continuing stream of people with the queue there extending to nearly a kilometre.
People said they preferred to come to the Central bank’s counters as currency of lower denominations including Rs 100 and Rs 20 were being dispensed for the scrapped notes. In a press release, RBI said, “The Reserve Bank assures members of the public that enough cash in small denominations is also available at the Reserve Bank and (other) banks.”
“Public need not be anxious, need not come over to banks repeatedly to draw (cash) and hoard, cash is available when (whenever) they need it,” it said. Several ATMs continued to be shut, while some ran out of cash shortly and a section of them had fewer people. However, traders and vegetable vendors at the Koyambedu Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Market complained of poor sale due to lack of sufficient change.
Meanwhile, some small traders and fish market vendors said they accepted the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from some of their buyers as they had only such scrapped notes. “Several of my customers had only scrapped Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes. They said they could not exchange it in view of heavy crowds. If I turn them away I will lose business,” a fish vendor, Devanesan Joel said.
He said that he could not “afford to lose business on a Sunday, wherein more people go in for non-vegetarian stuff.” Officials said banks in Tamil Nadu were receiving adequate cash inflows to cater to the needs of the people.