ATMs reopen after demonetisation

ATMs reopen after demonetisation

ATMs haven’t begun dispensing cash, two days after a nationwide shutdown.

As ATMs were reopened after two days, people queued up to withdraw money in all parts of the country. With Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes no longer considered legal tender, ATMs will disperse only Rs. 100 and Rs, 50 notes.

Live updates:

1.30 p.m: One of the managers trying to manage the crowd outside lost his cool when a customer waiting in the line yells about the procedure taking too long. He said “You and me are poor so we have limited cash to exchange and deposit. But there are so many people getting fake currency to exchange and taking our cash. We have to take proper measures and check before we give off money. ”

1.15 p.m.: Housewives at Central Bank wanting to pay rent, complain about having to wait in deposit lines although their transactions are different. They say, “The bank isn’t well equipped so there is a chaos here. It took us 1.5 hours to do a transaction completely different from the crowd but still we are taking as much time as them.”

1.10 p.m.: Goutam Dutta, who works at an electronics company was exasperated as he has been standing in the queue for more than an hour. “All my salary was paid in Rs. 500 and Rs.1,000 notes. How will I manage my daily expenditure?” he wondered.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav wrote to Arun Jaitley requesting that old notes of 500 and 1,000 be considered valid at private hospitals, nursing homes and medicine shops till November 30. Till things normalise, the poor and ill should not face any problems in treatment, admission in hospitals or purchase of medicine, Mr Yadav said in a letter to the finance minister on Friday.

“I would like to draw your attention to this serious problem for your urgent notice and intervention,” Mr. Yadav said.

12.40 p.m.: Suman Mukherjee, a government employee receives Rs 2,000. He says this is his first transaction in the past three days to meet family expenses.

Long queues, frayed tempers and helpless response are the order of the day across Kerala as the second day of currency exchange and issuing of new Rs. 2,000 denomination notes wore on.

Long queues began forming before ATMs from early morning. Many of the late comers had to go empty handed as the currency notes stocked in the ATMs ran out by late morning at many places.

12.25 p.m.: “I have been standing in the queue for nearly an hour. Hopefully cash will be available as I mostly have Rs. 500 notes”, said Sanjoy Saha who was standing before an ATM in Central Kolkata.

12.20 p.m.: Manish Agarwal, head of ATM operations, UBI Kolkata says three ATMs have been opened. “On a daily basis we have 600 transactions. In a few hours, we will have more than thousands. Only Rs. 100 notes are available.”

12.10 p.m.: ICICI Bank appeals for calm: “We saw a large number of customers visiting our branches today. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and support. For your convenience, our branches will remain open this Saturday and Sunday.” Anit Kumar Bishwakumar (38), who works in a private firm, says he is standing in the currency exchange queue of ICICI Bank at Vasant Vihar. The queue has been put on hold by security guards as account holders’ line is sped up.

12.04 p.m.: Kotak Mahindra, Vasant Vihar branch, Thane has stopped exchange of currency and its ATM has closed. The bank will begin operations after 4.30 p.m. says Santosh Kumar, an employee. IDBI bank of Vasant Vihar will begin the exchange of currency after 2 p.m. Sreekumar Das, a 35-year-old driver says that he went to Kotak Mahindra, Axis Bank and TJS branch of Vasant Vihar and now ICICI.

12 noon: While the rush in public sector banks to deposit demonetised currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denominations has kept the staff and managers under pressure for the second day, there was visible relief to some extent in branches of private banks and finance societies in Belagavi city and taluk centres of the district on Friday.

However, the focus of the public debate on the decision of the government to undo with the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes purportedly at checking black money and freeing the country from corruption has become intense with everyone one meets is keen to if it really bring down the corruption from the system.

A bus conductor, while posing same question felt that the measure, undoubtedly bold, could help unearth black money and fake currencies within the country for the time being. What about the huge black money stashed in foreign banks, he asked.

Further, he wanted to how the new Rs. 2,000 denomination notes would prevent accumulation of black money hereafter. On the contrary, people can save double the amount in less room, he quipped.

A passenger in the bus posed a question: “Can the unemployed youth get government jobs without paying bribe now onwards?”

Another, said with full confidence that there would not be any change as far as corruption was concerned.

11.55 a.m.: Supriya Tikam, 52 says she is waiting for more than an hour at ICICI Bank at Vasant Vihar in Thane. The queue for exchanging demonetised denominations is moving very slowly. Security are guards allowing a person every 15 minutes.

A person leaves an ATM at Koyambedu, Chennai after withdrawing money. Photo: K. Pichumani

11.50 a.m.: Booking counter at Ropeway, Nainital is empty as most of the tourists have left the town due to the demonetisation announcement.

After the demonetisation move Ropeway, which is a major tourist attraction at Nainital since it involves cable car ride to an altitude which allows the view of the Himalaya mountain peaks including Trishul, Nanda Devi and Nanda Ghunti, has witnessed a major reduction in the tourist numbers.

Dinesh Upadhyay, Assistant Manager at Ropeway, said, “In the past two days the tourist number at Ropeway has reduced to one-third of what it was three days back.”

Photo: Kavita Upadhyay

By Friday afternoon only 40 passengers had taken the cable car ride. On Wednesday only 131 people bought the tickets. However, on Thursday about 200 people bought the tickets.

“Before the demonetisation announcement we had at least 550 tourists everyday” Mr Upadhyay said.

11.30 a.m.: Chaos at Axis Bank in Manpada, Thane. ATMs are still closed as cash hasn’t arrived yet. People are waiting in queues. No chance of getting Rs. 100 notes as Rs. 2,000 notes are only provided to people at large till afternoon, says Amit Suryawanshi of Axis Bank.

ATMs in Mangaluru are yet to become functional as cash is still being loaded to machines. Queues are found inside banks.

A senior official of State Bank of India in Madurai says their ATMs attached to branches are predominantly functional as cash is loaded by the bank employees. Delays are in other ATMs where loading of cash is outsourced to other companies. “They have begun work in the morning and due to limited number of staff available with them, it is going to take time. We are hoping all ATMs to be functional by evening,” he said.

Denying that cash was in shortage, the official said the new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 are not likely to be available in ATMS for the first few days as some some technicalities related to configuration need to be sorted out. However, he refused to elaborate on it.
11.20 a.m.: N. Kumarapandi, a resident of K. Pudur in Madurai, says he has been going around the city since morning to withdraw money but was yet to find a working ATM.

“I run a workshop and needed money for some urgent transactions. There are long queues in the bank and they are encouraging only cash exchange and deposits. Not withdrawals.” Meanwhile, people continued to queue up in banks for the second day to exchange denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000.

11.10 a.m.: Majority of the ATMs remain out of service in Madurai. Bank officials cite non-availability of cash and delay in loading the cash in ATMs.

An official from HDFC’s Anna Nagar branch says their ATMs likely to become functional after 3 p.m.

Mallikarjunappa, labour supervisor from Haroorgeri in Bidar, Karnataka, said, “I am supposed to distribute wages to construction laborers today. But the ATMs are closed. I tried to go to ATMs of different banks. All are closed. I am waiting for over an hour now.”

11 a.m.: On Friday morning, people of all ages form a queue outside the State Bank of India ATM in Srikrishnapuri locality of Patna.

Rajesh Kumar, a local shop-owner desperately waits for his turn to reach the machine to get the required money, which would help him running his business and home.

“I’ve been waiting for my turn for last one hour… still 20-25 people are there ahead of me to withdraw the money… the government should have made some other fast measures for convenience of people… it may be a good step by the government but for us it has pose great difficulty”, Mr Kumar told The Hindu.

People are getting only old Rs.100 notes from the machine and that too with a cap of Rs 2,000.

Other ATM kiosks of different private banks are closed. People could be seen running from one ATM to other to withdraw money.

At Exhibition Road, most private bank ATMs are closed. The guards said money vans are yet to reach the ATM.

In banks, people now have started to gather to withdraw their money. Most of them said for the last two days they couldn’t do their usual business because of a shortage of required currency notes.

A scene at the SBI ATM at Srikrishnapuri, Patna. Photo: Amarnath Tewary

10.45 a.m.: It is 10.45 a.m. and ATMs are yet to open in Bidar. People form long queues before the SBI on Udgir road. Police have been deployed to control the crowd.

10.35 a.m.: All ATM centres and banks in Gujarat continue to witness long queues on the second day of after banks reopened following demonetisation of high value currency.

There is a huge rush of people to withdraw money at ATM centres from the morning.

“We are trying to cope with the rush of people who are standing in queues to exchange old notes, deposit old notes and withdraw from ATMs,” a senior official of the SBI told The Hindu.

According to insiders, ATMs in semi urban and rural areas have still not been replenished new currency notes to be dispensed while there are technical glitches also being reported from across the state.

“Due to heavy rush, we are running out of currency at many places,” a senior official of a private bank said.

10.30 a.m.: Tourists faced major cash issues due to the demonetisation announcement left the tourist places including Nainital and Mussoorie within two days of announcement.

Bookings in hotels across Uttarakhand cancelled till November 20.

10.09 a.m.: Most ATMs are yet to open in Tiruchi. Bank employees are asking people to come after one hour. ICICI bank employees say that there is a problem in server and it would be set right in an hour. Several ATMs remain shut in Rrirangam in Tiruchi district.

10.05 a.m.: Jugal Kishore, a security guard at an Axis Bank ATM in Gurugram says that cash is expected to reach the ATM by 2 p.m.

Photo: Ashok Kumar

10 a.m.: Even as the ATM booths reopened in Jaipur on Friday after a gap of two days, most of them remained vacant as the currency notes were not loaded in the machines. People who were waiting at the ATMs dispersed after being informed that the cash would be available later in the day.

However, long and serpentine queues were witnessed outside the bank branches in the city with the people turning up for the second consecutive day to get the old currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 changed and withdraw money from their accounts. ATM booths vacant at Dehradun, Uttarakhand too since money has not been loaded in several ATM machines yet.

Photo: Mohammed Iqbal

9.50 a.m.: Karur Vysya Bank has sent messages to its customers that charges won’t be levied until November 18, for using other banks’ cards.

Customers at an SBI ATM in Perambur, Chennai. Photo: V. Ganesan

9.45 a.m.: No queues outside ATMs in Gurugram as cash is yet to reach ATMs.

9.15 a.m.: Some ATMs are not accepting cards from other banks, reports P.V. Srividya from Coimbatore.

9 a.m.: Outside the Sahibabad branch of Central Bank of India in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

8.50 a.m.: People are seen queuing up outside ATMs in Tamil Nadu.

A customer gets a regret slip from an ATM.

8.45 a.m.: Bank account holders were greeted with a positive message on the morning of November 11 saying that they could draw money from the ATMs.

But when customers swiped their cards in the machines at Kancheepuram, the machines churned out slips carrying a regret message stating that it was unable to process the request.

When contacted, ATM security personnel said that they have been directed to keep the centre open and they do not know when the machine would be loaded with cash.

However, at some ATM centres the security personnel diligently displayed “Out of service” board in order to avoid queries from visitors.

THE HINDU

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