Demonetisation: Cashlessness sting still painful

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) There was no respite in sight for cash-strapped people on Thursday as queues outside banks and ATMs for money withdrawal continued across the city with rising anger and pain.

An IANS correspondent who visited about 10 banks and ATMs in east Delhi found over 150 people outside Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India in Radheypuri area of east Delhi. Similar conditions were witnessed outside the Indian Overseas Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank in Preet Vihar area.

Bobby Arora, a resident of Radheypuri told IANS: “I have my account in this branch of Punjab National Bank, but everyday the bank is running out of cash within two hours after opening in the morning.”

Many among the crowd argued with the security guard positioned outside the branch for not informing them that the bank had run out of cash.

Out of desperation, many customers asked the guard to let them in to see for themselves that there was no cash.

Many customers complained that they were never informed if there was any cash left or not.

Pradeep Bhanot, who runs a tiles shop in Jagatpuri area of east Delhi, said that he too was unable to make a single transaction from the bank or ATM kiosk in the last 10 days.

“It’s 15 December now, and I need to pay my workers here,” he said, adding, “Each and everyone of my staff don’t have bank accounts. So I am facing a problem.”

Lashing out at the government, he said: “Most of the staff at my shop are illiterate and expecting e-banking from them is a cruel joke.”

Serpentine queues have been witnessed across the country after the government’s November 8 decision to spike higher currency notes to curb “black money and corruption”.

Hundreds of people were also seen waiting outside ATMs in south Delhi’s Kalkaji area early Thursday morning to get some cash from the HDFC and State Bank of Patiala branches, which were dispensing cash.

Expressing anger over the government’s demonetisation move, Rahul Sharma, who runs a bike repairing shop in Govindpuri, termed the move a “cruel joke”.