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Currency exchange: Long queues, dry ATMs add to woes of people across country

The Demonetisation Of Rs 1000 And Rs 500 Currency Notes Created Chaos In Several Parts Of The Country. People Are Queuing Up Outside Banks And ATMs To Exchange Old Notes And Withdrawing Money For Daily Needs. ATMs Are Also Running Dry In Many Places Which Added To The Woes Of The People. Security Personnel Are Also Deployed At Many Places To Keep The Situation Under Control.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Ashish Ranjan | Updated on: 12 Nov 2016, 10:53:42 PM

New Delhi:

The demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes created chaos in several parts of the country. People are queuing up outside banks and ATMs to exchange old notes and withdrawing money for daily needs. ATMs are also running dry in many places which created a lot of woes to the people. Security personnel are also deployed at many places to keep the situation under control.

Situation in Delhi

The weekend saw even more rush and chaos outside bank branches and ATMs with cash-strapped people struggling to buy even daily items even as Delhi Police deployed more forces to maintain calm and warned of strict action against those trying to spread rumours on social media.

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 across the national capital.

In addition to this, RAF jawans were also deployed at certain points to monitor the situation. Senior officers of Delhi Police were also present at important junctions to oversee the security arrangements.

"The crowd is more since it's a weekend and many people have an off today. The crowd is swelling by the hour," a senior police officer said.

Also read: As it happened: India's great cash rush: Delhi, Kerela, UP, WB stuck in ATM queues

In Chandni Chowk, owing to a large crowd outside ATMs, rumour spread that there was a stampede in which four people were injured. Following the rumours, senior officials from the district also visited the area to calm the situation.

Referring to the rumour, senior officers said they will come down strictly on people who spread rumours to create panic.

"There is no stampede outside any #Bank or #ATM in #ChandniChowk. Please don't spread or come under the influence of any #Rumour ! We will also be taking cognisance of all social media accounts which are spreading #Rumours !!

It's an offence under section 505 of IPC. (sic)" said DCP(North) Madhur Verma, in a series of tweets.

Also read: Demonetisation: Delhi Police receives 4.5k complains regarding violence in various parts of city

"Don't believe in #rumours! Situation is peaceful and people are cooperating. #CashRush #Bealert. Appeal to all to maintain peace and law and order when waiting in line at Bank! #Bealert #Besafe #CashRush #Alliswell," tweeted Esha Pandey, additional DCP-I (North).

On Friday, rumours had spread about shortage of salt following which clashes also broke out in certain parts of Delhi and police officers took to social media to dispel rumours.

Situation in Mumbai

Greater rush of people to procure Rs 100 bills and new currency notes was witnessed on Saturday outside banks and ATMs across the city, even as some of them were shut down after being short on cash.

People left homes as early as 6 AM to try out their luck to get cash in hand leading to serpentine queues outside Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in South Mumbai and suburbs.

Several people complained that most of the ATMs were not functioning properly in South Mumbai including, in areas of Lalbaugh, Worli, Kurla, Mahim, Parel and Dadar. Similar was the case in some localities of suburban Andheri, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Borivali, forcing people to return empty-handed.

Byculla resident A K Jain was visibly pissed after his attempt to withdraw cash failed on the second day as well.

"The decision (to scrap Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 bills) has come down hard on the service class, who usually withdraw money from banks or ATM between 1st to 8th of every month. Some of those who withdrew before the announcement, got notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Now, they are running pillar to post to get them exchanged," he said.

Kurla resident Amit Mishra, a senior executive with a pharmaceutical firm said, "I tried my luck with two banks at LBS Road but huge line there forced me to come back. However, I will try my luck later in evening and I hope to get money".

Though he lauded the efforts made by bank employees "who are putting extra working hours for smooth dispensation of new bank notes".

Meanwhile, a bank here is said to have floated a mobile ATM to dispense money to customers, fetching a decent response.

Shrikant Manohar, who drew money from the mobile ATM said, "It was no less than a surprise. People lined up for hours, while I got cash with this mobile ATM as it came to my doorsteps."

Congress city unit president Sanjay Nirupam also visited an ATM counter in his area and interacted with people waiting anxiously in hope of getting cash.

Similar chaos were seen on city outskirts where people faced hardships after ATMs ran dry.

A resident from Palghar district, Sanket Gavas, took to social media and tweeted, "People standing in heat in long queues for hours outside bank branch as ATMs are empty in Virar West Palghar Mumbai." 

(With PTI inputs)

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First Published : 12 Nov 2016, 05:51:00 PM