After cash dries up, most city ATMs go on weekly offs
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is often credited for working without leaves, however, after his move of demonetisation, ATMs that are supposed to run 24x7, what seems have started taking weekly offs.
As the ATMs of various banks in the city have already exhausted their cash on Saturday, Sunday might be a complete rest for these Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
“The ATM was filled with cash in the morning but it was empty by afternoon. It will be filled again only on Monday as Sunday is a weekly off,” said a guard posted at a Central Bank of India ATM.
Only one of the two ATMs in the cubicle was functioning on Saturday. This is not a one off case. Wherever you go in search of the money, the guards will tell you the same story. This reporter visited several ATMs in Central Delhi and the guards replied the same. “There is no money in the ATM so the question of queues does not arise,” said a guard of one of the ICICI bank ATMs.
Furthermore, a good number of ATMs are still dispensing cash in Rs 100 notes as they are yet to be recalibrated for the new denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. There are ATMs of HDFC, ICICI, Central Bank of India, and Syndicate Bank in the press area at ITO but all ran out of cash on Saturday only to be refilled on Monday.
While the ATMs installed at plush markets, hotels, wholesale markets, office areas, weekly markets and busy markets will be on a weekly holiday on Sunday, those installed inside the residential areas are still on long leaves. The ATMs installed in relatively low profile and deep residential and market areas in Delhi and NCR are locked since the announcement of demonetisation on the midnight of November 9.
“This ATM is locked from November 9. The guard sometimes comes here but does not open the cubicle,” said Rama Rastogi, a shopkeeper in Sahibabad area. The ATMs of ICICI, PNB, HDFC, and Axis Bank are also not working in the area. However, the ATMs of these banks at their branch offices are functional but run out of cash within hours.
Demonetisation, coupled with the dry ATMs, has hit hard thousands of weekly markets in Delhi and NCR which survive only on cash. These weekly markets are run after the names of days of a week in various areas but their major business is in Saturday (Shani Bazar) and Sunday (Ravi Bazar) in specific localities.
The markets are run by small traders who roam with their goods and sell them in the weekly markets and the customers also belong from lower and lower-middle classes who prefer buying things from these markets shopping malls.