Another death occurred in the state on Friday as the demonetisation woes continued for the tenth day. Sheikh Islamuddin, a resident of the Kolkata Port area stood in line in the wee hours on Friday and collapsed on reaching home. He was pronounced brought dead.
Meanwhile most of the roadside eateries and stalls remained closed in the city on Friday after their owners refused to accept old Rs 500 notes intensifying the ordeal of common people which entered the 10th day on Friday.
The eateries on Rashbehari Avenue near Lake Mall, Sarat Bose Road market, Jadubabur bazaar, Elgin Road, Kalighat, Jessore Road- Bangur Avenue intersection, Northern Avenue, Sinthee More which are frequented by taxi drivers, small traders, workers remained closed after the owners refused to accept high value notes.
“We do not have change and so we have asked our customers to pay the exact amount. For a week we have somehow managed but every day the situation is turning from bad to worse and so we have decided to close our shop,” said Dilip Mondol who runs an eatery near Jadubabur Bazar.
Two popular eateries beside Sarat Bose Road market is visited by at least 1,000 customers daily. These shops have also downed their shutters.
Rajiv Sahani, a taxi driver who visits one of these eateries ever since he came to the city from Bihar seven years ago said: “For the past few days, the owner had expressed his inability to give change.
Today (Friday) he has closed the shop and we (taxi drivers) do not know where we can have our lunch,” he said. The famous Dada Boudir hotel opposite Sukanta Mancha in Barrackpore which is the busiest eatery in the area had to be closed on Friday due to shortage of change.
Hundreds of trucks are stranded at Indo-Bangladesh border, Dulagarh and Bengal- Odisha checkpost at Jaleshwar as the trucks are running out of fuel and most of the eateries are closed due to non availability of lower denomination notes.
Sukhbir Yadav said: “We have called up our owner but he also does not have change. The eateries have refused to give food as changes were not available.” Rabindranath Koley, a member of the state government’s Task Force said:
“Many of these trucks are carrying vegetables, essential goods and life saving drugs. If they are stranded and if the stock gets spoiled the price of vegetables will go up from next week.”
Work in New Town was badly hit after construction workers most of whom hail from Malda and Murshidabad left for their native village to withdraw money.
The footfall in Eco Park also witnessed a slump. Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation Sovan Chatterjee said relaying of pipeline and repairing of roads was affected as many labourers have gone back to their native villages. Partha Pratim Sengupta, chief general manager, State Bank of India said people could withdraw Rs 2,500 by using their debit cards in 182 petrol pumps.
Mobile ATM counters have also been opened in the city and districts.