Gurugram banks mobbed as ATMs go cash-dry

Gurugram, Nov 12 (IANS) Anxious crowds massed outside Gurugram banks to withdraw money or deposit or exchange their demonetised currency as over 80 per cent of the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) remained cashless here on Saturday.

People massed outside over 700 branches of various banks and more than 1,300 ATM booths for the third consecutive day to withdraw cash only to find that the ATM booths in the millennium city were out of cash.

While the ATMs of Axis, ICICI, HDFC, Dhanlaxmi and a few other banks near the railway station and on railway road were not working, the government run State Bank Of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) in the Sadar Bazaar were dysfunctional.

Similarly, the ATMs of Central Bank Of India, ICICI, Canara and some other banks here on Gurudwara road were not functional but people said Punjab and Sindh Bank ATMs were working.

People in queues outside the ICICI bank in this area created noisy scenes as the server of the bank was reportedly working slowly.

“We are standing in queue for nearly three hours but haven’t moved even an inch,” Vikas Sharan, an executive with a private firm, told IANS.

The same was the situation at the ATM booths in upscale New Gurugram areas.

According to a source, contractors and some factory owners have pressed their labourers into service to exchange their Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes demonetised on November 8.

Banks in Udyog Vihar, sector 33 and IMT Manesar areas which have a number of factories and companies, witnessed larger crowds.

Shops and business outlets in Gurugram were open on Saturday.

Sadar Bazaar, Bada Bazaar and other places have been witnessing low footfalls as customers and traders in old markets prefer transactions in cash and not through credit/debit cards.

Amid rumours of raids by the income tax department on Friday, a curfew-like situation prevailed in the markets in Gurugram, the tech hub and suburb of Delhi.

Most of the people facing problems in getting their old currency notes exchanged said the demonetisation taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right.

It will cause inconvenience to the common man for a week or two but will help the country in the long run, they said.

Haryana Police has deployed nearly 2,000 policemen for security and to keep a check on the law and order situation outside banks and ATM booths.