Chandigarh: The majority of bank branches and post offices in Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh witnessed serpentine queues of customers for the second successive day today to get the new denomination currency.
Distress among citizens increased today as a large number of ATMs continue to remain closed due to non-availability of cash.
The cash in few ATMs, which were filled up today, exhausted soon after due to large number of people trying to get cash.
People could withdraw only up to Rs 2000 from the ATMs which worked.
Those who had got exchange of Rs 4,000 yesterday in denomination of Rs 2,000 currency notes also faced harassment as the notes were not being accepted by vendors, traders and shopkeepers in the absence of small denomination notes with them for return of balance.
Some banks, however, distributed only Rs 100 denomination notes and the queues outside such banks were getting much longer today due to easy exchangeability of Rs 100 notes at various shops and commercial establishments.
The customers, including women, started reaching bank branches and ATMs early in the morning as they were facing problems in purchasing day to day items, including vegetables and milk.
Heated exchanges were on at various branches with people stopping those trying to jump the queue.
Additional counters opened by various banks also failed to mitigate the sufferings of the people.
Chandigarh Police have deployed security personnel, including Home Guards, at various branches to maintain law and order.
To deal with the heavy rush of customers, banks had announced to set up additional counters for exchange of high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 which had been demonetised by the government.
Banks have deployed extra staff at bank branches to facilitate customers so that do not face any harassment. A number of routine services including updating of Pass Books have been suspended in view of the unprecedented rush.
Administrative Staff posted in the Zonal and Regional Offices has also been deployed in branches for disbursal of exchange amount of Rs 4,000 to the public.
Some banks and post offices were insisting on photo copies of identity proof along with the exchange form to be submitted to get the new currency notes. Some branches were only verifying the identity details filled in the form with original documents. PTI
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