Long queues outside banks before weekend holiday

New Delhi/Noida, Dec 3 (IANS) People across Delhi and NCR queued up in big numbers outside banks and ATMs on Saturday to collect some cash before the weekend.

As most of the ATMs were out of cash, people said that they preferred to visit the bank.

“ATMs in my locality didn’t dispense any cash this morning. I had to visit the bank to withdraw money. Also, because the withdrawal limit is Rs 24,000 in banks, it will help meet my needs till the middle of this month,” said a man standing outside a bank in south Delhi.

“There is nothing new. These long queues have become such a routine thing now. There is nothing we commoners can do about it. We feel so helpless.”

The scenario was similar in banks across the city. People showed extreme anger over the long queues and about banks setting arbitrary withdrawal limits.

An IANS correspondent who visited various banks, both in New Delhi and adjoining Noida, found that people frustrated with the long wait were requesting bank officials to count the notes faster and make transactions as quick as possible.

“I have to manage my family expenses. So many payments need to made. These long queues are really annoying and once you reach the counter, bankers refuse to pay more than a certain amount,” said Biswa Shekhar, a resident of Mayur Vihar in east Delhi.

Anil Kumar Gupta, branch manager of Syndicate Bank in Sector 15 Noida, said that while the branch was able to cater to its own customers but there was a huge problem because of walk-in customers of other branches.

“We are facing most of our problems due to customers who have accounts in other branches. They come demanding Rs 24,000 and are not willing to understand our situation.

“This being a small branch, I know most of our customers personally. When I tell them that we can only provide a limited amount to be able to satisfy everybody, they understand.”

Anish Kumar, an actor by profession, complained that the cash crunch and consequent queues were creating problems in his professional life.

“All of this is so time consuming. You can’t do without cash and also there are other commitments you need to take care of. I had to reach a channel house in Rithala to sign an agreement at 1 p.m. but I think I won’t be able to make it as the queue is really long.”

Even the crediting of salaries has failed to bring smiles to the faces of office-goers as the withdrawals have become extremely taxing post the November 8 demonetisation announcement.

Mukesh Kumar, who works in a private company, said that this time there was no excitement about receiving the salary.

“I have received my salary in the bank account but how do I withdraw it? I have to wait for so long in these big queues for that. Life has come to a standstill due to this unprecedented shortage of cash,” he said.

“Cashless economy seems tough as vegetable sellers, food vendors and many others do not have access,” he added.

–IANS

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