There was no let up in the rush for exchanging demonetised notes and withdrawing money with many people spending their Sunday queueing up outside banks and ATMs since early morning hours, even as some of the outlets were shut after being short on cash.
Delhiites started forming serpentine queues as early as 6 AM outside ATMs and banks to try to get cash. Security has been beefed up outside bank branches as people struggling to buy daily items lined up to get Rs 100 currency notes.
“Since it’s a Sunday, we are expecting more crowd outside banks and ATMs. We have made adequate security arrangements to ensure no untoward incident occurs,” said a senior police official.
To manage anxious crowds, as many as 3,400 personnel of paramilitary and Delhi Police along with 200 quick reaction teams have been deployed at ATMs and banks to keep the situation under control.
In India’s financial capital Mumbai, long, snaking queues ontinued to be seen outside banks and ATMs here today with those facing cash paucity complained of having to wait for hours as the bank branches themselves were running short of currency notes.
Longer queues were seen outside the public sector banks where a sizeable number of account holders are retired persons and senior citizens.
There was increased anxiety among some customers as the bank staff took longer time to process their cash request.
“Earlier, I had decided to wait a bit longer and then approach an ATM to withdraw money for my weekly needs. I witnessed that there has been some crunch of Rs 100 denomination notes in the market,” said Vinayak Bhargav, who runs an electrical service centre in Mulund.
In West Bengal, people were in for a shock on a Sunday morning as the sight of long queues in front of bank branches and ATMs across the state on the fifth day after Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes were demonetised.
The average Bengali bhadralok had to tweak their morning routine by first queueing up before an ATM rather than a milk booth or a fish market on a Sunday morning.
There was also the unusual sight of large retail markets like Lake Market, Gariahat and Maniktala in the south and northern parts of the metropolis witnessing little footfall compared to the usual sight of heavy crowd on weekends.
A few shopkeepers some markets are still accepting old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in view of the situation and to sell their fast perishable goods, but on condition that the transaction would be worth at least Rs 500 or in multiples.
But the most harrassed of all remained those with medical emergencies as most medicine shops and many private hospitals refused to accept old currencies of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination.
Exuberance of many people who could manage to withdraw money from bank branches found their joy to be shortlived as they could not get change for Rs 2000 notes at grocery shops or buying other materials of small price.