Long queues at banks, ATMs continues on Monday

Photo of Indian citizens standing in long queues outside ATMs in New Delhi and a foreign woman capturing the moment.

New Delhi: Thousands of hungry and angry people looking for cash to take out their salaries for the first time after currency demonetization queued outside the banks and ATMs today as the first Monday started after Sunday holiday of the newly started month of December, but with no cash in banks and ATMs forced them to go back without money.

Citizens returned back to their work after visiting banks on Monday after a Sunday holiday as hundreds and thousands of people hungry for cash stands in queues to take out money.

Mahendra Prakash, a resident of Kalindi Kunj in south Delhi, said he and his wife rushed to the neighbourhood Canara Bank ATM when they realised it had been loaded with cash in the morning but when they reached their ATM went cashless.

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Prakash was one of the many who hit out at the way the demonetisation scheme had been implemented, triggering an unprecedented cash shortage all across the country.

He added, “The government and the RBI were not prepared for this. They should have made proper arrangements to replace the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.”

The demonetization of currency notes were announced by the government on November 8 to curb down on black money and corruption.

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When team of media caught up with them, Prakash’s wife Rakhi had been in the ATM queue for one long hour.

Many other people expressed disgust over the manner as the scene was similar at many ATMs and they were forced to queue up again and again, almost daily, to collect Rs 2,000-2,500-the maximum one can withdraw from an ATM daily.

Another citizen from IT professional who hails from Nirman Vihar in east Delhi, Sahil Raj said, “I have to pay rent. I have to pay my maid and for utility bills. I can’t make all payments through net banking.”

“I have been trying to get cash from ATM for the last three days. Just before my turn comes, the guard announces the ATM is out of cash,” Raj sighed. “It is really frustrating.”

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Many bank customers say they are not allowed to take out Rs 24,000 a week-as authorized by the Reserve Bank of India-but given only Rs 4,000-6,000 by bank officials who cite cash crunch.

The scene was no different at ATMs that were functional as many ATM machines continued to be cash-less on Monday.