Serpentine queues continue outside banks, ATMs

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Serpentine queues in front of banks and ATMs continued to be seen on Tuesday too, two weeks after the Centre announced demonetisation of high-value currencies, with many ATM machines still unable to dispense cash.

People standing in queues since early morning to get cash or deposit or exchange the now spiked 500 and 1,000 rupee currency notes expressed extreme frustration and disappointment over the extensive waits.

“This is the third time I am coming to the bank to withdraw cash. Once, I came to deposit the old notes. Then, the second I came to the teller to withdraw but cash finished by the time my turn came,” Sandeep Bhatt, who works as an electrician in the Delhi metro, told IANS.

His wife, standing with him in the ATM queue, said: ” How do I manage the household expenses? His (my husband’s) salary is credited in the bank account, but we have to stand in such long queues to withdraw. When anything happens in this country, we poor people are the worst sufferers.”

“Do you see even a single rich fellow here standing with us?” Sonam Bhatt questioned.

A Vertex employee here said: “The bank opens at 10 a.m. but the process starts at 11.30 a.m. What is it that they do in between? I understand that they need to do the arrangements, but why can’t it be done on the previous day.”

“Another complaint that I have to make is that there are no separate queues for ladies and many times they have to deal with eve-teasers. The other day my sister had to face similar inconvenience,” Vikramjeet Singh, 27, told IANS.

A resident of Mayur Vihar, Avinash Kumar, criticising the government’s demonetisation move said: “Black money hoarders are taking help from friends and relatives to save their money. This move won’t make a difference as black money will generate again.”

While there were many who didn’t find the move effective in the long run, there were also those who showed full support to the government plan but were annoyed by the inconvenience it caused.

“It’s a good move but lacks management. Had this been done with a plan chalked out things would have been easy,” said Sahil Khatter, who works in an MNC in Gurugram.

He said: “I woke up at 5 a.m. to deposit cash and was shocked to see people already waiting outside the ATM. This cash deposit facility should have been made available by all banks. Things could have been managed in a better way.”

Many people were angry as their previous attempts had failed because many teller machines were non-functional, including ones inside metro stations, as they ran out of cash or developed technical glitches.

“I visited the bank two days after the announcement and went again the day before yesterday. I failed to withdraw anything both the times. I stood in a long queue for more than two hours last (Monday) night and finally got some cash,” said Juhi Nagar, a resident of Safdarjung Enclave.

“What makes me angry is that people carry four to five cards and withdraw for others. The whole move has caused so much of inconvenience,” she said.

A cash-strapped housewife voiced immense frustration at the demonetisation move and displeasure at the withdrawal limit.

“I have to make so many payments including the maid, the milk dairy, for the ration and the vegetables. All that I could get the day before yesterday was Rs 2,000. Nobody had change. It became so difficult, I can’t explain how I managed. I had to buy extra ration to get change.”

“The government should have made more preparations and provided better facilities in banks. I am so tired of this whole thing.”

Shivaka Bhatanagar, who works at a call centre, said: “I don’t appreciate this. In between my working hours, I have to come to the bank. I don’t easily get the permission to do so from my boss.”

“I have to pay my kids’ school fees but there is no money,” she said with disappointment.