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Long queues at banks, ATMs after long weekend
Tuesday December 13, 2016 11:00 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Long queues outside banks in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) were a common sight on Tuesday as they opened after a gap of three days.

After the weekend closure on second Saturday and Sunday, the banks were also closed on Monday on account of Milad-un-Nabi.

As most of the banks hung "No Cash" boards within two-three hours of working, it was a great disappointment for those standing there for hours.

"Why is there no cash in the banks for people," asked an agitated Ram Krishna Mahto, who failed to withdraw cash after waiting in the line since 10 a.m.

Pointing a finger at bank personnel, he alleged: "They must be passing on money through the back door."

The ICICI Bank at Connaught Place was one of the many banks in the city which stopped distributing cash after going "cashless" within hours of opening.

Disappointed, some people started questioning the very rationale of the demonetisation decision, saying they were also feeling that banks were colluding with businessmen to change money, leaving the banks "dry".

"Government should by now realise that this problem is not going to go away in 50 days, as they told us. I don't think things will go back to normal anytime before February or March," said Utsav Jain, a college student.

Tarun, who works at a private company, said he was happy when the government decided to demonetise high value currency notes to check corruption and counterfeit money but now he feels that things are going in the wrong direction.

"I am totally fed up with this system. Not only I, everyone is suffering from this decision. There was three day off in the bank. Today after waiting for hours in queue, bank officials said that there is no cash," Tarun said.

He also questioned where the money is going.

People were also seen arguing with bank guards and other staff members after they were told that the cash was finished.

Security had to be beefed up at some banks to manage the crowd. Similar scenes were seen outside most of the Delhi-NCR ATMs as well.

Meanwhile, National Organisation of Bank Workers' Vice President Ashwani Rana said all bank employees were not indulging in wrong-doing and were performing their duty sincerely and with honesty.

Referring to news reports about the alleged nexus between some bank officials and unscrupulous elements for changing the demonetised currencies, Rana said: "Don't blame banks and all the 10 lakh bank employees and officers for the shameful act of just a few."

"We also request the government to conduct an investigation so that the guilty could be exposed and punished," Rana said.

As reports regarding involvement of bank officials in corrupt practices are surfacing, disappointed people were heard blaming bank employees for not distributing cash to them.

"Totally disappointed. I am fed up with this system. I am returning home without withdrawing cash even after I have taken a day off from my work," a worried man said.

He was anxious and wondered when this "less cash" problem will be solved.

"I had been to many ATMs. Either they were 'out of cash' or the queues were unexpectedly long," one law student said.

He hoped that he will be able to get cash although he spent two hours waiting for his turn to withdraw cash.




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