December 14, 2016 5:01:41 am
Tuesday was no better for irate customers in west Delhi queuing up for cash withdrawals after a three-day bank holiday, as cash arrived in banks as late as 3 pm.
Brijesh Singh, an operator in a private company, began screaming at the security guards standing behind padlocked gates at the Mayapuri branch of Bank of India. “It’s 4 pm, we have been standing here since 11 am. We can see that there’s enough space to accommodate us inside the bank. Just let us in,” he said.
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A group of 30 people straining against the gate joined Brijesh, demanding entry into the bank. Pradeep Kumar, the khaki-clad guard, looked on stoically from behind the gate. Then he lunged forward, unlocked the gate and banged his lathi, half-hitting the customers standing at the front. “Time’s up. Go home. The bank is closed,” he said. The group waited for another 30 minutes, hoping to get a chance. But only a few were let in.
“The bank has been letting in customers who have contacts here. We have been waiting here since noon and still haven’t got a chance,” said Ram Prasad, a cook at a roadside eatery in Hari Nagar, who lost his day’s wage worth Rs 400 on Tuesday.
Omwati, a 62-year-old woman, demanded a token to get in early next morning in lieu of the long wait she had to go through. Her calls did not go in vain as Kumar finally stepped outside to hand out five tokens, which some customers called “useless”. “These tokens get you nowhere because it always works on a first-come, first-served basis,” said an agitated customer.
A few feet away, agitated customers said they had been waiting outside Dena Bank for the past 12 hours. A factory worker from Badli, Vijay Kumar, said he had been waiting since 5 am. “I have to pay Rs 600 as school fee. The school will expel my kids if I don’t pay this week,” he said.
Eight banks in Mayapuri Industrial area’s community centre were shut down as they were out of cash by 4 pm, while most of them got money to dispense only around lunch time.
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