No respite from long queues outside ATMs in Delhi

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) On the first day of the long three-day weekend holiday for banks, hundreds of people were present in long queues outside ATMs which were dispensing cash on Saturday, while most of the machines remained cash less.

There was no respite in sight for cash-strapped people on Saturday as queues outside ATMs for money withdrawal continued across the city with rising anger and pain.

An IANS correspondent who went around the city found most of the ATM machines displaying the messages of “no cash” or the shutters of the kiosks housing them down.

Out of the 13 ATMs in Vikas Marg area of east Delhi, which this IANS correspondent visited, only one ATM of Vijaya Bank was found operating near Preet Vihar metro station.

Mahesh Singh Dhillon, a resident of Gagan Vihar in east Delhi, told IANS: “I am standing here in the line for almost one hour. And still I am not sure if I would be able to get some cash.”

Expressing his anger, Dhillon said: “I have a family of six, and I am left with Rs 300, so if I don’t get cash today, then I would have to borrow some money from friends or relatives.”

Lalita Kaur, 60, complained that there were no arrangements made for senior citizens at the ATM kiosks.

“I am a senior citizen, but there is no preference given to us here.”

Frustrated over the cash crunch, Kaur said, “I don’t know what (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji thought before taking this decision.”

Echoing similar views, Surinder Saxena, who is in his late 70s, said that he too was waiting in the line for the last one hour and was not sure if he would be lucky enough to get some cash.

Lamenting over the poor arrangements at the banks, Saxena said: “When we go to the bank, they hand us the tokens for another day. Are we supposed to go and stand in the bank queues every day at this age?”

The IANS correspondent then visited Patparganj area of east Delhi, where out of seven ATMs, only the ATM of Bank of Baroda was found operating.

Sanjay Kumar Sinha, a student of B.Sc (IT) in Sharda University told IANS: “I got the news of the money in the ATM just 10 minutes after it started dispensing cash. But by the time I reached I found myself at number 35 in the queue.”

Asked why didn’t he withdraw money from the bank instead of searching for an ATM, Sinha said: “It’s my father’s account and he has given me his debit card so that I can withdraw money every month. And for withdrawing from the bank I need to give third party approval.”

Serpentine queues have been witnessed outside banks and ATMs across the country after the government’s November 8 decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to curb “black money and corruption”.

Ranvir Yadav, who hails from Gorakhpur but resides in Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi told IANS: “I have only Rs 50 with me, so I am going to Noida by bus to collect some money from one of my relatives.”

“And if I don’t get money, then next week I would have no choice but to return home,” said Yadav, who works in a mall in East Delhi.

A businessman from Bhajanpura on condition of anonymity said: “My business has been affected by the demonetisation move. It is shut because the clients are not accepting payments in old currencies. I am trying to make do with what I have in account. I deposited some money which I had in old currencies.”

“BJP leaders deposited all their unaccounted money before the announcement was made and people like us are suffering,” he added.