Demonetisation: Tokens in hand, people wait for refill

Even as many customers sauntered in and out of the SBI branch wanting to exchange their currency notes, information of cash running out here is yet to filter out.

Written by Lakshmi Ajay | Ahmedabad | Updated: December 2, 2016 8:23 pm
Rs 500 Rs 1000 notes, India demonetisation, banks, currency exchange India, Bank security India, news, latest news, India news, national news Indian policemen stand guard as people queue up outside a bank to exchange and deposit Indian currency of rupees 500 and 1000 denominations in Ahmadabad. (AP Photo)

It’s a little after 4 pm and the crowd seems to have thinned at the State Bank of India’s Mithakali branch at Ahmedabad. It’s not so in a few other banks in the vicinity where queues stretch to the streets and customers await their turns with tokens.

Many banks ran out of cash at around 3 pm and the staff were on the way with more money. Even as many customers sauntered in and out of the SBI branch wanting to exchange their currency notes, information of cash running out here is yet to filter out. While a peon apprises a customer of the cash situation, a few are seen leaving after making furtive enquiries from the peons and other customers standing in the queues.

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There are two separate queues in the branch — of bank account holders wanting to deposit, and another to withdraw cash. Two-three staff members were also manning counters of loan disbursal and other banking services. However, no one is seen partaking any other banking transactions and all the rush is centreed around the queues.

A young customer, Rhiane Kall, whose mother is an account holder leaves the bank as she realises that exchange of cash has stopped. Businessman Ramesh Shah, 56, says he has been an account holder here “since he was born” and says that he shares a warm family-like bond with the staff. “I had deposited close to Rs 10 lakh in the morning. I returned to get the deposit slips now and did not face any long wait.”

The smaller queue at evening hours is a relief for housewife Mansi Viruwadia who dropped by to deposit some petty cash lying in the house. On the other hand, LIC agent Urmila Pandya, 40, has spent the better part of her morning desperate to exchange and deposit cash.

“We have just run out of cash and the cash is on its way. We are currently managing with our current staff… We had instructions to work till 10 pm yesterday and today we came in by 8-9 am and we will work on the weekend too,” said the branch manager, who said she had just taken charge a week ago and had stepped out for a quick tea break.