People flock to Mother Dairy, petrol pumps after demonetization

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) Chaos reigned at petrol pumps and Mother Dairy booths across the national capital on Wednesday as people made a mad rush to the outlets to get change for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes following the Narendra Modi government’s decision to demonetise such notes.

With most outlets running out of Rs 100 notes, fuel stations and milk booth operators faced a torrid time dealing with customers, that led to commotion and quarrels.

In his announcement on demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the Prime Minister said that such notes will be accepted for 72 hours from midnight Tuesday at petrol pumps and milk booths run by the government.

“Most of the people are demanding petrol or diesel of Rs 100-200 and giving Rs 1,000 in cash. We have already run out change, but the people are unrelenting and the queues seem never ending. The government should have provided us with adequate change, especially 100 rupee notes, before implementing such a big decision,” Brij Bhushan Tiwari, a city petrol pump owner, told IANS.

“We are not not here for money exchange. Most of the people are not willing to understand that,” he added.

Similar scenes were witnessed at petrol pumps across the city.

Even as he hailed the decision, another city petrol pump owner said the government should have made prior arrangements before announcing the decision.

“Undoubtedly it is a good decision and will help in curbing black money. But this has resulted in needless harassment both for pump operators and the common man. If we were supplied with adequate quantities of Rs 100 notes, these quarrels and arguments with the customers could have been avoided,” said the pump owner.

People having two-wheelers with low fuel storage capacity were faced with a problem as many petrol pumps were allowing to buy fuel only in multiples of Rs 500.

“If I buy petrol of Rs 500, it will exceed the storage capacity of my scooter, so where do I store the extra fuel? I badly need to fill up but the pump operators are not willing to sell anything below Rs 500,” Rahul Chauhan, a college student, told IANS.

Since the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night, the demonetisation move has attracted reactions from all and sundry. Some hailed the decision, while others criticised the government for the “needless harassment”.

“I have run out of whatever change I had and I am compelled to ask customers to buy milk in multiples of Rs 500 or turn them back. Most of the customers do not require so much milk so I have to turn them back,” Brajesh Kumar Mishra, a milk booth owner, told IANS.

With ATMs remaining shut for the day and a massive shortage of Rs 100 notes, the demonetisation move has hit hard many of the small vendors.

“Unlike other days I haven’t done any business today. Most of the people are not willing to shell out short change. They are offering Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, but I am a poor man how can I afford so much change. This is affecting my livelihood,” said Swadesh, who runs a roadside eatery.

While many of the small traders and shop owners are upset with the decision, there are some who are using the opportunity to mint extra money.

Some of the small general and provisional stores are charging Rs 50-100 from customers for accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

–IANS

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