Though banks were closed on Monday due to the public holiday on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti, long queues were seen outside ATM counters from early morning. But most of the ATMs ran out of money from afternoon.
The Reserve Bank of India has increased the withdrawal limit at ATMs from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 but there was no stock of new Rs 500 notes.
The stock of Rs 100 notes also got exhausted by 10am at most of the ATMs.
The security guards at the ATMs said they had informed the banks but could not say when the refill would come.
Senior bank officials apprehended that there would be a mad rush for money on Tuesday as the banks were closed on Monday.
“The money which people withdrew from ATMs in the past few days might get exhausted and so long queues are likely to take place on Tuesday,” said a senior official of State Bank of India.
To cope up with the situation, the banks have requested their retired employees to come and help at the banks.
At SBI’s Bhowanipore branch, many retired personnel came to serve the people.
Sudeshna Sengupta who had visited the SBI ATM on Ritchie Road at around 10am alleged that there was no money available in the ATM. “It is unfortunate that there were no security staff and no one had put up a no-cash board either. There may be long queues at the banks tomorrow so I thought to withdraw Rs 2,500 to meet my household expenses.” The ATM is situated close to the branch of the bank.
Most of the ATMs in the city were closed and only one-third were found to be working.
Septuagenarian Samaresh Banerjee, a retired state government employee who had come to withdraw money at Gol Park, found that the ATMs of four banks, two private and two nationalized banks, were without money.
The security guards at the ATMs could not tell them whether cash would be available even in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, those who have received Rs 2,000 notes by exchanging their old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes found it difficult to get change.
The vegetable and fish vendors took old Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes but refused to give any change.
The taxi drivers and petrol pump owners also refused to give change.
The shops refused to take Rs 10 coins because of the rumour that 80 per cent of the Rs 10 coins are fake.