Demonetisation: Citizens across nation face hardships, scramble for change
Overnight demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes caused inconvenience to large sections of of citizens across cities on Wednesday.
Mumbaikars faced problems buying essentials and commuting with the closure of ATMs only compounding their woes. Many people having Rs 1000 and 500 currency notes were seen rushing places for getting them changed. Many said they had to return home empty handed this morning unable to purchase milk, vegetables, medicines for want of adequate Rs 100 notes.
Several commuters using public transport like taxis and auto-rickshaws also had a taxing time as they were refused transaction with Rs 500 notes. Petrol outlets turned down many of those came for refuelling saying they were running short of Rs 100 notes.
The impact of government withdrawing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes from circulation was visible across Delhi with people facing inconvenience in buying milk, vegetables, medicines and other daily essentials and in commuting in auto-rickshaws and taxis.
There was chaos outside outlets of Mother Dairy, Safal and some other government-run cooperatives besides state-run hospitals, railway stations and petrol pumps which were allowed to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes till Friday. As ATMs and banks were closed on Wednesday, harried people explored various options to get smaller denominations notes such as Rs 100 and Rs 50 which were in short supply due to the heavy demand.
While there has been unnecessary panic among certain sections, small traders, rickshaw pullers, taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers said they have been hit hard due to “shortage” of smaller denomination notes as well as anxiety among people. Tuesday night, long queues were seen outside ATMs to get Rs 100 notes.
Kolkatans also bore the brunt on Wednesday when taxi drivers, service providers, medical stores, vegetable vendors and even railway booking offices refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. The worst hit were the common people many of whom could not buy vegetables after the vendors wanted them to pay the actual amount or take vegetables worth Rs 500.
The medicine shops also asked customers to either pay the exact amount or buy medicines worth Rs 500 or Rs 1000. Many of the helps who got their salaries in the past few days returned the money to the owners and requested them to give currency notes of lesser denomination as they could not buy stuff from the market.
Long queues were witnessed for the second day on Wednesday at petrol pumps across Punjab and Haryana, including here, even as several shopkeepers stopped accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in the wake of their demonetisation.
Like Tuesday night, long queues were witnessed at most of the petrol pumps on Wednesday.