Millennium Post

Long queues outside banks, ATMs on Monday morning

The scene was no different at ATMs that were functional.

Mahendra Prakash, a resident of Kalindi Kunj in south Delhi, said he and his wife rushed to the neighbourhood Canara Bank ATM when they realised it had been loaded with cash in the morning.

Prakash told IANS that ATMs in his locality had been dry for the last one week.

He was one of the many who hit out at the way the demonetisation scheme had been implemented, triggering an unprecedented cash shortage all across the country.

"The government and the RBI were not prepared for this. They should have made proper arrangements to replace the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes."

The government announced the scrapping of high value currency on November 8 to crack down on black money and corruption.

When IANS caught up with them, Prakash's wife Rakhi had been in the ATM queue for one long hour.

The scene was similar at many ATMs. Many people expressed disgust over the manner they were forced to queue up again and again, almost daily, to collect Rs 2,000-2,500 -- the maximum one can withdraw from an ATM daily.

Many ATM machines continued to be cash-less on Monday.

Desperate to go to work, people in the queues were requesting those ahead of them to withdraw cash using only one debit card.

"I have to pay rent. I have to pay my maid and for utility bills. I can't make all payments through net banking," complained Sahil Raj, an IT professional from Nirman Vihar in east Delhi, echoing a common grouse.

"I have been trying to get cash from ATM for the last three days. Just before my turn comes, the guard announces the ATM is out of cash," Raj sighed. "It is really frustrating."

Banks and ATMs have been regularly witnessing serpentine queues since the note ban of November 8.

Many bank customers say they are not allowed to take out Rs 24,000 a week -- as authorized by the Reserve Bank of India -- but given only Rs 4,000-6,000 by bank officials who cite cash crunch.

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