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Cash-strapped people seek divine intervention in front of ATM

On Sunday – the 26th day since the demonetisation of high-value currency notes – few people were standing outside ATMs to withdraw money as most of them displayed a ‘no cash available’ sign outside. Hopeless and frustrated, some people organised a Puja of an ATM in East Delhi’s Jagatpuri, praying that it dispenses cash.

The government has been claiming that more than 2 lakh ATMs have been recalibrated and there is no dearth of cash in banks. The government further said that a high-level committee was constantly monitoring the situation on day-to-day basis and appropriate decisions were being taken to ensure that no one suffered due to the demonetisation policy.

The unique worship was organised in East Delhi’s Jagatpuri area, where over 50 local people went to the State Bank of India’s ATM and worshipped the cash dispensing machine.

Ram Prashad, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, said, “The SBI ATM has not been dispensing cash since demonetization. So, we performed its Puja so that it dispenses some cash.”

“We did this to highlight the problems the people of Jagatpuri are facing since the government demonetised high-value currency notes,” the man in his 30s said.

“Earlier, we used to see couples and the elderly going for morning and evening walks. But nowadays, we can find couples looking for the ATMs with cash,” Kishor kumar said.

On November 8, the government demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes to curb black money and corruption. ATMs in this industrial town adjacent to the national capital wore a desolate look much like in Noida, Greater Noida and Vaishali areas.

The same situation prevailed at the five ATMs around Sector 16 Metro Station at 11.30 am, with each of them unable to dispense any cash.

“This machine does not have any cash... hasn’t had any since the (high-value) notes were banned,” a guard at Punjab National Bank said.

The situation was same at Kotak Bank’s ATM since November 8. It has been devoid of any money.

The ATMs of State Bank of India and IndusInd Bank also had their shutters down.

Since the demonetisation decision announced on November 8, people have had to stand in queue in front of banks, post offices and ATMs to withdraw cash, which has been in short supply since the past three weeks.
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