There were no queues outside many ATMs in Delhi and adjoining satellite towns as the cash disbursing machines were running dry or not functional on Friday. But people, scrambling for money, stood in long lines outside banks and ATMs where cash was available.
In most of the areas in the national capital, banks ran out of cash within hours of opening.
In south Delhi areas including C.R. Park, Green Park, South Ex, Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, East of Kailash and Safdarjung Enclave, most of the ATMs were not functional.
“In search of a working ATM, I travelled from Green Park to C.R. Park but failed (to get cash). There was no ATM with cash anywhere and I went to Malviya Nagar where one of the ATMs was being refilled. I waited there and got some,” Sunita Banerjee, an engineer said.
“I have to make payments to many people. I will have to wait in the queue to withdraw more cash daily so that I clear my dues,” she said.
A State Bank of India official in a south Delhi branch said the bank didn’t have enough cash to disburse to a huge crowd of people that waited outside since morning.
A man in a queue outside Bank of Baroda ATM in Jangpura told IANS: “I had only one rupee left in my pocket and I am waiting in a queue not knowing if I will get money or not.”
Long serpentine queues were also seen outside J&K Bank ATMs in Jangpura and Greater Kailash.
A resident said he had counted and “only two out of 30 ATMs around Jangpura, Bhogal, Maharani Bagh, Ashram were working”.
There were long queues with people desperately wanting to deposit and withdraw cash at Bank Of India in Lal Kuan in Old Delhi.
The bank had also put out a notice saying a customer can withdraw a maximum Rs 10,000 due to cash shortage, whereas, the government has allowed a maximum of Rs 24,000 withdrawal a week.
A bank official speaking to IANS on condition of anonymity said: “The RBI had failed to provide cash to the banks. Otherwise, why would banks make people suffer?
“We have limited cash. If we give Rs 24,000 to every person, we will run dry soon and the people will get agitated and we will have to face the brunt.”
In a sign of desperation, a long queue waited outside East of Kailash branch of ICICI Bank even though it had put up a sign saying no cash was available.
“We are waiting here in the hope that the cash may come anytime soon. The bank officials are not even issuing tokens yet saying they will do it only after the cash arrives,” Deepak Sharma, an IT employee said.
“We are not even sure if we’ll get any cash or not. At least if they tell us clearly, we can be sure whether to stand in queue or return to work.”
In Noida also, queues outside ATMs were missing. “I walked two kilometres so far and I did not find a single ATM with cash,” Akanksha Sharma from Noida Sector 70 told IANS.
“I do not have cash to pay the auto-rickshaw driver too. I am travelling on credit as the drivers are locals in my society.”
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