Chaos, confusion on 1st day of Rs 2K note exchange in Capital
New Delhi: Chaos and confusion were reported from several parts of Delhi on the first day of exchange of Rs 2,000 currency notes on Tuesday with people complaining that banks were instead asking to deposit them and also demanding identity proofs.
While the notes will still be considered legal tender, people have been instructed to either deposit existing Rs 2,000 notes in their bank accounts or exchange them at the banks.
The first day of the process saw long queues, disgruntled customers and growing concerns among elderly citizens.
Though the exchange or deposit facility will be available till September 30, people rushed to the banks in significant numbers on the first day itself.
The punishing heatwave sweeping through Delhi exacerbated the situation, making it particularly challenging for the elderly, who complained of having to wait for hours.
Tempers flared, and heated arguments erupted between the people and staff members at Punjab National Bank’s Lajpat Nagar branch. “The authorities should have anticipated the immense inconvenience this would cause. Standing in this scorching heat is taking a toll on us, especially the elderly,” Shivani Gupta said while standing in a queue at the branch.
People faced hurdles even when attempting to use Rs 2,000 notes at petrol pumps. Many people complained that while ATMs continue to dispense Rs 2,000 notes, fuel stations were refusing to accept them and seeking payment through online transactions.
“I tried to refuel my car at the nearby petrol pump, but they refused to accept my Rs 2,000 notes. They insisted on digital transactions through mobile apps. This is a hassle for those of us who rely on cash for our daily transactions,” a motorist alleged.
Several banks reportedly refused to exchange Rs 2,000 notes, directing customers to deposit them instead due to lower cash retention limits.
Frustration mounted as people also complained about banks demanding identity proofs despite the government’s promise that no such documents would be required.
“There is confusion as some people are being asked to deposit the money in their accounts. Exchange is being denied. This development has left people feeling cheated and disillusioned. We expected a smooth exchange process,” Rajender Singh, a retired government employee, said.