Long serpentine queues were witnessed outside ATM booths across the nation for the second day in a row on Saturday as the people rushed to withdraw money for basic necessities after demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
Re-opening after two days, ATM started dispensing maximum amount of Rs 2000 for each customer according to a cap set up by government to ensure smooth transfer of currency shuffle across India.
However, the process of exchanging notes turned chaotic and confusing as facilities like banks and post offices wilted under pressure. Many ATMs ran out of cash within hours of opening due to heavy footfall.
I personally visited several banks today to listen to tales of hardship of common people: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on demonetisation pic.twitter.com/7hoo9bdd2V— ANI (@ANI_news) November 12, 2016
One of the longest queues outside an ATM/Bank was witnessed in Surat, Gujarat on Friday, a tweet claimed.
In national capital, Delhi Police attended to around 3,000 calls from anxious people who stood in queues to withdraw money from ATMs with Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes no longer considered legal tender.
“Yesterday (Thursday), we received close to 750 calls from anxious people who complained their notes were not exchanged or banks ran out of cash. Today (Friday), we attended to more than three times the number of calls,” Special Commissioner of Police (Operations) Sanjay Beniwal said.
“Many of the complaints were regarding ATMs running out of cash or remaining offline today. There were calls about long queues or violence. When we reached the spot, we found that the caller or the bank staffer had panicked and made the call. There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere,” the official said.
Delhi: Huge crowd gathered outside banks in Vasant Vihar to deposit/exchange ₹500/1000 notes after demonetisation pic.twitter.com/uJ6CMd3RLR— ANI (@ANI_news) November 12, 2016
People in Uttar Pradesh's capital city were seen fretting over inadequate arrangements at ATM booths. Hundreds of angry and panicking customers returned from ATMs empty-handed as most of the machines were found in-operational. Customers say that they have until December 30 to deposit or exchange their 500-and 1000-rupee notes for smaller bills or the new 2000-rupee note that is expected to make counterfeiting harder.
Heavy rush at ATMs was witnssed as late as 1:30 am in the night in Noida,while hundred thronged to banks to exchange cash early in the morning.
Demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 notes: People lined up outside a bank in Patna waiting for their turn to come. pic.twitter.com/3nMP03ssVR— ANI (@ANI_news) November 12, 2016
In Patna, many stood in long serpentine queues in front of different nationalised and private banks to exchange old currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 besides depositing and withdrawing money.
Long queues were witnessed at ATMs too which opened today after the gap of two days. ATMs were closed for two days-Wednesday and Thursday- for their re-calibration to dispense money.
Many ATMs ran out of cash in couple of hours as there were heavy rush to withdraw money but a large number of ATMs, especially on Boring road or Boring canal road of the capital, were not working till 11 am since morning.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
In Chennai, most the ATMs of both public and private sector banks ran out of cash and were inactive. Several ATMs in remote areas did not function.
Private sector ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have announced extended working hours up to 8 pm to dispense cash for the customers.
“I was told there was enough cash in ATMs and there will not be any problem in dispensing the cash. But, when I came here, we were asked to leave as ATMs ran out of cash”, Kumar, a customer of State Bank of India, said.
With ATMs remaining non-functional, serpentine queues could be seen before the banks for exchanging the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
Demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 notes: People queue up outside a bank in Nagpur waiting for their turn. pic.twitter.com/L0WYyiPev0— ANI (@ANI_news) November 12, 2016
Demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 notes: People queue up outside Central bank of India in Mumbai waiting for bank to open. pic.twitter.com/qrbJX66Vpu— ANI (@ANI_news) November 12, 2016
A 73-year-old man collapsed and died in a queue before a bank as cash-strapped people in the country’s financial capital rushed to the ATM counters to withdraw some money to meet their daily expenses.
Vishwanath Vartak, who was standing in the queue before an SBI branch for exchanging currency, collapsed and died on the spot at Navghar in Mulund in eastern suburbs, police said.
Running out of money for the last two days, men and women had thronged the ATMs since early morning while in many places, to their disappointment, they found the machines not working.
ATMs of various banks in south Mumbai, Lalbaugh, Parel, Dadar, Andheri, Ghatkopar and Mulund were found to be out of service and not dispensing money, forcing people to return empty-handed.