Demonetisation dust refuses to settle
Chaotic scenes and seemingly never-ending queues could still be seen outside banks and ATMs as people hustled to get valid currency notes for meeting their daily expenses after the Centre last week demonetised the old higher value bills.
Cash-strapped people were seen waiting in frustration as most of the cash dispensing machines ran out of cash within hours after being stocked, while thousands of ATMs are still not functional. Adding to the customer woes, there have been reports of bank servers facing technical glitches.
The Centre on November 8 had banned the use of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 bank notes in a bid to curb black money and sources of terror funding.
It may take two more weeks before ATMs start dispensing new high-value Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. Currently, they are mainly dispensing Rs 100 notes. More and more people across the country are complaining about problems with regard to their daily basic needs as local stores have stopped lending goods and other essential items on credit.
Grappling with unending queues and frayed tempers in banks and to check operation of syndicates, the government on Tuesday decided to introduce a system of marking customers exchanging defunct currency notes with indelible ink from today onwards in major metro cities.
This, according to the government, would prevent syndicates and certain kind of people coming to a branch again and again and misusing the note-exchange facility.
Meanwhile, in a tragic incident while people were queued up in front of ICICI Bank in South-West Delhi’s Uttam Nagar area to exchange money or withdraw/deposit money, a 36-year-old man received injuries after he lost his balance due to the jostling crowd and got injured after he fell on a glass cabin inside the bank.
A senior citizen who was standing next to him had a narrow escape, police said. The victim has been identified as Sultan who went there to withdraw cash at around 3.30 pm on Wednesday. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he underwent treatment. Meanwhile, the people who were present there turned violent and started attacking the bank staff. However, when the police team reached the spot, the law and order was restored. Senior officials of South-West Delhi also reached the spot.
“A case under Section 288, 337 IPC has been registered against bank management for criminal negligence,” said a senior police official.
Man dies of heart attack while waiting in queue
A man died of heart attack while standing in a bank queue to exchange his old currency in Delhi’s Hauz Qazi area in Central Delhi on Wednesday.
Said-ur-Rehman complained of chest pain while waiting for his turn in a long queue and informed his family over phone after he felt uneasy. He died after he was rushed to the hospital.
Despite standing in the queue for two consecutive days, Said-ur-Rehman, aged 48, was unable to exchange his old currency. He decided not to miss out on Wednesday and hence went to the bank at 3 am. After waiting for long hours he started feeling uneasy. At around 12 noon when he sensed chest pain, he decided to call up his family.
After receiving the call, his family members rushed to Bank of India in Hauz Qazi branch and took Said-ur-Rehman to the hospital. However, he couldn’t be saved.
Said-ur-Rehman was a computer designer and lived with his wife, three daughters and a son at Lal Quan, Hauz Qazi. “He went to exchange the old currency on Tuesday but before his turn came, the bank ran out of money and so he returned empty-handed. He, then, went at night to stand in the queue again,” said the deceased’s brother Siraj Ahmed. The family did not report the matter to the police and took the body home saying since he died of heart attack no one could be held responsible.