Millennium Post

No relief from rush; Delhiites lose patience as ATMs run dry

Impatience, disappointment and anger prevailed as people in the national Capital continued to face hardship in exchanging demonetised notes and withdrawing money on a Sunday. 

There was no let up in the rush as thousands of residents spent their Sunday queueing up outside banks and ATMs since early morning, even as some of the outlets were shut after being short on cash. Heated arguments were exchanged as cash in ATMs and banks – and patience among the public – ran dry as the day drew to an end.

Delhiites started forming serpentine queues outside ATMs and banks to get cash as early as 6 am. Security has been beefed up outside banks as people, struggling to buy daily items, lined up to get cash.

The police claimed to have become more vigilant after there were rumours about stampede, people plundering goods from a mall in Seelampur on Saturday.

"Since it is a Sunday, we expected more crowds outside banks and ATMs. We have made adequate security arrangements to ensure that no untoward incident occurs," said a senior police official.

To manage anxious crowds, as many as 3,400 personnel of paramilitary and Delhi Police, along with 200 quick reaction teams, have been deployed outside ATMs and banks.

"I did not get a chance to exchange the banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, despite it being my off day. I reached the bank around 2.30 pm and there was a long queue of people waiting for their turn. I waited till 4.20 pm and returned empty-handed," said a visibly disappointed Ranbjit Mallick, a resident of Lajpat Nagar.

“I did not get a chance to exchange the banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as I was working. But today is my off day and so I rushed to the bank only to find a huge crowd of people waiting for their turn to come. The crowd is swelling by the hour,” said Mohit Jha, a resident of Vikaspuri.

At many places, people were seen running from one ATM to other as the machines were  cash-strapped.

On Saturday, there were rumours about stampede, people plundering goods from a mall in Seelampur. The police have urged people not to spread rumours and warned of strict actions.

Manoj Singh, 68, expressed his frustration saying that he was left with no cash and had to borrow money from his neighbour. "Even today there is no respite. I went to the bank and stood in the queue for sometime but then my legs began to hurt and I came back," he said.

“Arrangements should be put in place for the elderly and disabled people,” he added.

Roopak Das, 71, said he had a harrowing time on Saturday running from one ATM to another to withdraw money. “I visited a number of ATMs to withdraw money yesterday but none of them were operational. I’m old and there is nobody at my home who can withdraw money on my behalf. I’m finding this extremely difficult. Today I woke up early and reached the ATM but then were was a long queue. I just hope that I am able to withdraw money today,” Das said.

Many people couldn't purchase milk, vegetables, medicines as they didn't have adequate Rs 100 notes.
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