Confusion and long waits defined queues of anxious people waiting to get their cash outside ATMs at many corners of the city. While many met with shut centres or machines running out of cash, others simply sweated out for hours till ATMs became functional. Crowds started gathering from early in the morning and started queues outside ATMs even before they were open.
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Many complained against no help received from bank centres in giving them cash of lower denominations after high denominations of currencies of 500 and 1000 notes were abolished from Wednesday.
“This was the first day people were allowed to withdraw from ATMs and thus a mad rush was seen among many to avail the same before ATMs ran out of money. However, the dismay was many remained shut, or if open had no change to help us with,” said Anil Ghadle, who stood outside Axis Bank ATM at Tilak Nagar station for long.
“I generally take a train to my office at Andheri but today, I went by bike as I had to withdraw cash from the ATM. However, throughout my journey from Marine Lines station till Andheri not even one ATM was open. I have not been able to receive the new currency till now,” said Amit Bhadricha.
People also rushed to get exchange of cash with lower denominations in banks which witnessed long queues. “I went to my bank at 9.30 am to deposit my money. The process took at least four hours as I could come out of the bank only after 2 pm,” said Gaurishankar Chaudhary, a resident of Vihar.
At many places in Sion, Bandra Kurla Complex (BMC), Churchgate, Wadala and areas in Navi Mumbai, people complained of majority of the centres being shut. While those which were open ran out of cash as they were not able to cater to the large crowds.
“More than ATMS, many rushed to banks to get notes of lower denominations of 100 for huge amounts. This further created trouble as we were running short of so much change. Also, many rush to the bank counters because they believe they may still get old higher denomination notes in ATMs and currencies of 2000 rupees which becomes too high to get any change,” a bank official said.
“I stood for at least two hours in queue to no avail. How are we supposed to avail of money if other ATMs remain closed or give us no money at all? This is putting the common man at total inconvenience,” said Vinod Poulose.
ATMs also continued to face shortage of new currency and remained shut for a long time. Huge crowds were witnessed in the morning and evening hours as office-goers rushed to withdraw cash.