Demonetisation: Ordeal continues as ATMs run dry
The ordeal of common man either to deposit or withdraw old currency notes is going on unabated. Tuesday was the seventh day of the demonetisation decision which is haunting the denizens.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement declaring ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes came on November 8 night, exactly seven days ago. The banks remained closed on November 9 and the ATMs were closed on November 9 and 10 only to become became functional on November 11.
Initially, people were allowed to withdraw Rs 2,000 which has gone up by Rs 500 more. Earlier, people could withdraw Rs 1,000 per week which has been increased to Rs 24,000 per week. Earlier people could exchange money up to Rs 4000, which has been increased by another Rs 500.
Long queues were seen in front of the Branches of State Bank of India on Ganesh Chandra Avenue and Canara Bank on Hare Street.
Long queues were seen in front of HSBC on BBD Bag and a Branch of Standard Chartered bank on Church Lane.
All these Branches are situated in the Central Business district and majority of the account holders in the nationalised banks are the employees of state government and private sectors having their offices in the area.
Suranjana Mukherjee who works in a government office said she had to wait for over three hours to withdraw money from her savings bank account with SBI Ganesh Avenue branch. “I came around 9.30 am and got the money around 12.30pm. This is really very straining and we had no place to sit,” she said.
Himadri Sengupta, a lawyer of High Court had to wait for over two hours to withdraw Rs 20,000 from his account kept with Chartered Bank. “Generally I send my clerk to do the job but today (Tuesday) I came on my own as I thought that the bank might refuse to give money to my clerk.”
Most of the government offices in Central business district were empty since the afternoon as the employees went to withdraw money. “We are allowing them to leave office two hours before schedule without which it is not possible for the employees to withdraw money,” said a senior state government official.
From the lower courts to High Court, fewer new cases have been filed as the clients could not to pay fees of the layers in cash. The office of the Registrar of Assurance wore a deserted look in the afternoon as people could not pay money to buy stamp duty.