There was no let up in the rush for exchanging demonetised notes and withdrawing money with many people spending their Sunday queueing up outside banks and ATMs since early morning hours, even as some of the outlets were shut after being short on cash. Delhiites started forming serpentine queues as early as 6 AM outside ATMs and banks to try to get cash. Security has been beefed up outside bank branches as people struggling to buy daily items lined up to get Rs 100 currency notes.
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On Saturday, there were rumous of stampede, of people plundering goods from a mall in Seelampur, following which police asked citizens not to spread such rumours and warned of strict action.
“Since it’s a Sunday, we are expecting more crowd outside banks and ATMs. We have made adequate security arrangements to ensure no untoward incident occurs,” said a senior police official. To manage anxious crowds, as many as 3,400 personnel of paramilitary and Delhi Police along with 200 quick reaction teams have been deployed at ATMs and banks to keep the situation under control.
“I didn’t get a chance to exchange the banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as I was working. But today is my off day and so I rushed to the bank only to find a huge crowd of people waiting for their turn to come. The crowd is swelling by the hour,” said Mohit Jha, a resident of Vikaspuri. A 71-year-old Roopak Das said he had a harrowing time on Saturday running from one ATM to another to withdraw money.
“I visited a number of ATMs to withdraw money on Saturday but none of them were operational. I’m old and there is nobody at my home who can withdraw money on my behalf. I’m finding this extremely difficult. Today I woke up early and reached the ATM but then were was a long queue. I just hope that I am able to withdraw money today,” Das said. Another elderly resident expressed his frustration saying he was completely out of cash and had to borrow money from his neighbour.
“Even today there is no respite. I went to the bank and stood in the queue for sometime but then my legs began to hurt and came back. Arrangements should be put in place for the elderly and disabled people,” he said.