People queue up at banks in Delhi-NCR but no cash in most ATMs
In Delhi and satellite towns of Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon people witnessed long queues at ATMs and faulty machines since Friday morning the first day when all ATMs were supposed to dispense cash. With demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, a few working ATMs were dispersing currency notes in denominations of Rs 100 and Rs 50s.
Delhi’s Uttam Nagar saw nearly 400 people queuing up at the SBI bank branch, some of whom came in as early as 6am. The problem with this branch is that the ATM is inside the bank, said a security guard at the spot.
Unable to stand for several hours at a stretch, 60-year old Anju Devi sat under a tree after booking her place in the long queue. “What to do? My husband has gone to work. So, I had to come. I am standing here since 9am and I haven’t got my money yet,” she said.
Dwarka residents are having a tough time as many ATMs are shut in the region. “ICICI ATMs are closed. Bank officials said cash would only come in by afternoon,” said Manoj who returned home from one such facility.
In Ghaziabad and Noida, ATMs of all major banks remained shut and over 100 people were spotted standing in queues to withdraw cash. Retail business was affected due to lack of higher denomination notes.
“We have been standing in the queue since 9am and its been an hour but we are not able to enter the bank. It feels like some disaster has happened. We have run out of cash,” said Sanjay Chauhan, a resident of Crossings Republik township at Ghaziabad.
Archana Singh, a housewife at Sector 120 Noida said, “Yesterday, I was not able to withdraw cash due to a long queue. Today the situation is worse. The queues are getting longer.”
In Gurgaon, many had to return empty handed from ATMs as a majority of the outlets remained closed or were drained off the cash by 9am. There were even longer queues at bank branches in Gurgaon as people said that they were in need of cash to manage day to day household expenses.
SBI ATM in Palam Vihar, Corporation Bank ATM at Ansal Triangle and ATMs of several banks failed to dispense cash. Certain ATMs which are located on the roadside had cash but were emptied by 10am.
With banks unable to meet the demands of customers, there was palpable anger and people with frenzied nerves argued with each other at different bank branches. Neeraj Thakur, a resident of Palam Vihar complained that the server at Axis Bank was not working as a result of which no transaction could be completed. The ATM at Axis Bank in Palam Vihar also remained closed as cash could not be dispensed.
Bhawani Shankar Tripathy, a Sector 23A resident complained of the lack of arrangement and preparation at the bank branches across the city. “there should be more counters to deposit cash and to exchange notes,” he said.
The worst affected however are those who have marriages scheduled on November 11, 13 and 25. Narender Kumar, a resident of New Palam Vihar said that his daughter is scheduled to marry two weeks later but all the arrangements have come to a halt.
Kumar, who had come to the bank with the printed card of his daughter’s wedding hoped that bank officials would listen to his pleas for more cash. “I don’t know how everything will happen now”, said Nirmala, his wife.