Greater rush of people to procure Rs 100 bills and new currency notes was witnessed today 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 upset 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 (sic).”