Millennium Post

Rural areas in Capital reel under severe cash crunch

Forget the areas under urban Delhi, even rural areas near the national Capital with a nearly two-third population of the entire state continues to bleed even after 55 days of demonetisation as the majority of the ATMs are running dry. Despite repeated assurances from the Union government to normalise the situation since the very beginning of this year, people living in the majority of the rural or semi-urban areas face a harrowing time as hardly any ATM can be found operational with even reports coming in that several ATMs have remained unattended since demonetisation was announced. What is worse is that people with bank accounts have been approaching their account holding banks but a large population of labourers or migrants, who have no bank accounts, do not have a respite from the unending cash crunch. 

Delhi consists hundreds of villages and semi-urban belts where reports of poor functioning of ATMs has become a common phenomenon. The residents, in search of money, may be seen wandering from one corner to the other, claiming that the machines are not being refilled with cash in most of the booths resulting in a manifold increase in their troubles. To add to their woes, even banks are facing severe cash crunch since the demonetisation drive has come into effect. 

“People have been left in the lurch as neither banks, not ATMs are running here properly. Claims to enhance services are in vain as no money can be found in any ATM in and around the area and the banks, which had claimed to provide help and respite, have also failed miserably. The only option is to visit central parts of the Capital where refilling of cash is reportedly taking place,” said Dharamveer Dhedha, a resident of Narela. People living in rural areas of North Delhi also have similar complaints as they claim that no refilling of money in many ATMs is taking place. 

“When the announcement of note ban was made, it was said the ATMs will cater to our needs but with each passing day, it was realised that majority of the ATMs were non-functional. Now, when nearly eight weeks is over, the situation has become worse. The badly hit are those who are migrants and have no accounts in banks as they cannot withdraw money,” said Manoj Tyagi, a resident of Jagatpur village in Burari. 

A search of fully functional ATMs in rural areas by Millennium Post reveals the sordid state of affairs. On Thursday, which is the 55th day of demonetisation, no ATM was found working in about dozens of villages and its near-by-areas. The residents rued that owing to the crisis they have been forced to adopt barter or mutual exchange systems. 

“When we get money, we make due payments and when we do not get, we ask for barter. In the present scenario, we cannot say when our plight will be addressed,” said Mahendrapal, resident of Alipur village. 
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