December 14, 2016 5:21:30 am
Serpentine queues returned to Gurgaon on Tuesday as banks reopened after a three-day break. To make matters worse, most ATMs had their shutters down and some banks were closed due to dearth of cash.
People were left waiting for hours outside banks that were open. Outside the Corporation Bank branch in Sector 14, people said they had been waiting in the queue from 9 am, but had made little progress even until noon.
Viren, a resident of Harijan Colony, who works as a cab driver, was seen sitting outside a store near the bank, having “reserved” his place in the queue an hour ago. “I have been standing to withdraw Rs 4,000 and skipping work in the process,” he complained.
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“They say if people withdraw moderate amounts, there will be enough for everyone. But how will that happen if bank officials secretly call in certain people and give them double or triple that amount? How will the common man manage?” he said.
Narender Singh, a farmer from Gurgaon, who was waiting outside Oriental Bank of Commerce a few kilometres away, argued that the “fruits of demonetisation” were far from visible. Shiv Kumar, who hails from Jhajjar, however, said that “patience is key” and “only those who support the opposition argue against this scheme”.
Bank officials said they were trying their best to cope with the situation.
“But we are humans. Even if cash is available, how fast can we work?” asked the manager of a bank in Sector 13.
By late afternoon, people started losing patience and what appeared to be friendly debates earlier in the day, slowly turned into heated arguments.
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