Mohali: On 5th day of demonetisation of currency, Mohali residents spent their Sunday outside bank branches and ATMs. People started making queues early morning outside ATMs. Most of them were daily labourers who were out of cash and needed money even for their daily needs.
Most ATMs ran out of cash within 2-3 hours of filling money. Most of the ATMs were out of cash by 11 am. In many areas of the city bank branches closed their gates for exchanging money. “We are out of money and helpless,” says a bank manager. Some of the residents visited ATMs just to get new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000, but they were disappointed as ATMs only contained Rs 100 notes.
Public anger and resentment were visible. In many branches, small arguments with bank employees were reported. People blamed that bank staff in many cases adopted pick and choose policy.The queues were so long at some places that it took people over three hours at some banks to withdraw cash. Senior Citizen standing in a queue at a Phase 7 bank branch says, “I came here at 1 pm. My turn was about to come at 2 pm, but by then the lunch time started and the counter got closed. So I am waiting for the counter to reopen and should be able to withdraw cash.”
Later in the day, some ATMs got opened and people started making beeline there as well. Meanwhile, amidst reports of people having used money changers and jewellers, there were reports that some NRIs had got refundable air tickets booked using the Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 currency stashed with them. Those who had done open tickets booked intended to cancel these later and take refund. Meanwhile, bank officials said as they were trying to recalibrate their machines for higher denomination notes, it will take some days before these start tendering new high-security Rs 500 and 2,000 notes, which is expected to ease
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