Millennium Post

Kolkatans land in soup as banks, ATMs down shutters for 2 days

Kolkata: Common people were heavily inconvenienced with banks remaining closed on Wednesday, following a call by bank unions for a two day strike.
The bank unions have called for the strike on May 30 and 31, protesting against a salary hike of 2 percent.
Nearly 9,800 branches of different banks remained closed in Bengal on Wednesday. The ATMs had almost turned dry with people withdrawing money from Tuesday night to ensure that they do not fall short of cash on Wednesday and Thursday. There are around 21,000 ATMs in the state, including 3,200 in Kolkata.
But it had not become possible for all to withdraw money from ATM machines or bank branches on Tuesday and they landed in a difficult situation as they did not have money even for emergency purposes.
There were many ATM counters where "no cash" boards were found displayed since morning and people were harassed as there was no other way to get money.
However, people who set out from their home to spend the day in office and returned home in the evening, didn't face much trouble as they had come out of the house properly prepared.
The situation was worst for the people who came to the city from villages for treatment of their near and dear ones in hospitals and nursing homes in the city.
There are hundreds of people, whose close ones undergo treatment in hospitals in the city for months and they need to be present round the clock in the hospital premises itself, so that they can provide necessary medicines as and when required.
In most such cases, their family members drop cash in their accounts in the banks in their villages and the person looking after the patient withdraws the same from ATMs in the city.
They had a difficult time on Wednesday as they had to approach the medicine shop owners to get medicines, assuring that they would surely give the money on Friday or as soon as someone from their homes reaches the hospital with money.
With the banks remaining closed on two days at the end of the month, a large section of people are also apprehensive whether they will get their salary in the beginning of the next month.
Monoranjan Das, an employee of a private company, said that he had deposited some high value cheques on Tuesday. But it would take more time for clearance of the cheques, with the banks remaining closed for two days.
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