More than a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation, the woes of residents do not seem to end, as long queues are still being witnessed outside several banks at Raipur Rani and Barwala. “There are at least eight banks at Barwala, which are enough to cater to the population of this area. But it has been over a week and the rush does not seem to decrease,” said Barwla, sarpanch Baljinder Goyal. Residents of the nearby villages claim that they have to stand in queues outside banks as early as 6 am and it takes several hours until they return with some cash.
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Teachers from government schools queue up outside banks after school to withdraw cash. Sudesh Rani, principal, Government School, Raipur Rani, said that the school had to cancel a students’ tour due to lack of cash. “The teacher in-charge could not collect adequate cash and we had to cancel the tour of Scouts and Guides to Sirsa last week,” she said.
Asserting that separate queues for women and senior citizens in banks have helped in easing the rush to some extent, Barwala BEO Sunita Nain said that employees and working professionals continued to face problems. “We can’t leave official duties and stand in queues for hours together, but cash is a requirement. We will have to wait till the weekend.”
There are ATMs, but many of them are without cash and residents prefer to withdraw cash from the banks. “Problem to hai (There is a problem). But bank officials are helpful. Some banks have deputed employees who fill out the forms for people standing in the queue. Even in ATMs, there is one person who helps the card holders to withdraw cash,” said Rajesh, a teacher at Government School, Bhood village, Raipur Rani.
Residents point out that the major problem is being faced by those families which have wedding functions scheduled, or they have to carry out some construction/renovation work. “Ab tubewell lagwana tha, kaise lagwayein [We had to construct a tubewell. Now how will we get one]?” asked Jitender, a farmer from Bataur village near Barwala.