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Dash for cash: ATMs run dry after a few hours, Delhiites left in lurch

As the stored cash and essential commodities are getting exhausted with every passing day, more and more customers came out and waited for hours for cash but majority of the ATM booths displayed either out of cash or out of order signage.

Meanwhile, to avoid the ongoing chaos, additional forces were deployed in several ATM kiosks across the city. Rapid Action Forces (RAF) were also seen patrolling at several branches of banks around the Walled City area on Friday.

From early morning, people started assembling outside banks on the second consecutive day to get lower denominations or new currency notes as a sweeping cash crunch caused all-round chaos and inconveniences to purchase even simple daily household essentials. 

At many places, people had to return disappointed because many ATMs as well as banks ran out of cash just hours after opening for the day. At a very few places, people were seen waiting outside banks and ATMS even after their managers announced that cash was finished.

Guards deployed at various ATM centres said that people were asked to go after the bank disbursed all its cash by 2 to 3 pm. The visitors were still not willing to go and remained in queues till late evening. When the staff of the banks/ATMs tried to explain the situation, majority were seen arguing and shouting. 

“People standing in queues started arguing with security personnel deployed at Central Bank of India, soon after we reached there and took the situation under control,” said a RAF personnel at a kiosk in Daryaganj area. People standing in queues, however, alleged that security guards and police personnel at the gates let their relatives and friends in without making them stand in queues. 

A man who had come from a North-eastern state and was standing in a long queue at a kiosk in Connaught Place’s Outer Circle area, said: “I came here in Delhi on Monday with some cash and carried ATM card but who knows this all was going to be happen with me. 

Now, I am spending my holidays here standing for hours in a queue. No one can understand the hardships I have gone through in the last two days and there is still no relief.” The area also witnessed wandering foreign nationals in search of currency exchange centres.

Another visitor, Asim Khan, said: “I was in queue on Thursday for five hours and left empty handed as there were announcements by the staff of the bank that there is no cash with the bank now and today (Friday), I am hoping to exchange old denomination notes with new ones.” 
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