Following the announcement of demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a cash crunch started due to the limit of the withdrawal of cash from banks and ATMs. And while PM Modi launched an app making a survey about how well the demonetisation drive has been accepted by the people, he got an overwhelming majority standing in his corner. Or were they? The queues outside banks and ATMs are reported by some news channels to have dried out while some have shown swarms of people waiting for hours. Indians, by nature are capable of turning disasters into economic opportunities, which was quite evident with the launch of mobile apps such as “book a chhotu” to stand in lines in front of banks and ATMs. However, no credible apps were designed to devise a method by which people could be provided with real-time information about which banks and ATMs could be expected to dispense cash. This resulted in a wild goose chase and unplanned massive gatherings.
According to Business Standard, there seems to be a way where one can march ahead for a bank or ATM which was most likely to dispense cash. The Reserve Bank of India has placed of 4102 currency chests all over the country in various branches of various banks. These chests can be found on both private and public banks. It must be noted that most banks with these currency chests are quite likely to have an attached ATM. So it is only natural that when cash arrives, the bank team unloads a tonne of money into these ATMs attached. Delhi is possession of 52 currency chests, Mumbai: 62, Bengaluru: 39. It has to noted that there are 28 other cities in the country in the possession of these currency chests. Hence, if a person finds himself/herself in these cities, they are more likely to find cash, although specifically at localities where these banks and their ATMs are attached. According to Business Standard, one can get extremely lucky in matters of cash withdrawal at the Parliament street. The Parliament Street is reported to have the most number of these banks with currency chests; Allahabad Bank, Bank if Baroda, UCO Bank, Punjab National Bank, SBI and the Standard Chartered. Similarly, if one happens to be in Mumbai, they must go to Bandra(East) or the Fort area. In these locations, one can find at least 8 banks with these currency chests, according to Business Standard, which is loaded with fresh cash every day arriving from the RBI’s regional offices.
One more thing that needs to be ensured is that you shouldn’t just head for any ATM. Certain banks and ATMs would present a much better chance of providing cash as they have a larger customer base and hence get more cash from the RBI. Let’s take the State Bank of India for example. It is geographically speaking, the largest bank in the country and will inevitably end up with more cash than a Standard Chartered. Similarly, nationalised banks have much more possibility of being able to dispense cash than private banks. What if the banks with currency chests and attached ATMs have long queues? Valid question. In this case, you must choose to go to localities which are close to other localities with banks holding currency chests. According to Business Standard, in Bengaluru KG Road has the most number of banks with currency chests, but if that option seems implausible, then once can go to MG road, which is pretty close. MG road is reported to have two banks ith currency chests- Corporation Bank and Vijaya Bank. Similarly in Delhi, if the PNB at Bhikaji Cama Place runs out of cash, one can always travel to the nearby Safdarjung and RK Puram. Both have two banks each with currency chests; State Bank of Patiala and India Overseas Bank in Safdarjung and the SBI and Syndicate Bank at RK Puram.
Although it has to be noted that RBI had informed that it had remonetised the economy to accommodate only Rs 4 lakh crore month. This leaves 65% of the out of circulation currency to be replaced. So if the banks with currency chests run out of cash, it means that they haven’t been supplied with enough cash by the RBI. The central bank is yet to specify as to how much currency it had dispatched to various chests across the country.