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Demonetisation: Cashlessness sting still painful on day 42

Demonetisation: Cashlessness sting still painful on day 42

New Delhi: There was no respite in sight for cash-strapped people on Tuesday as queues outside banks and ATMs for withdrawing money continued across the city with rising anger and pain.

An IANS correspondent who visited about 10 banks and ATMs across the city, found over 150 people outside Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India in Kalkaji area of south Delhi.

Similar conditions were witnessed outside the Indian Overseas Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank in Preet Vihar area in east Delhi.

Jaswant Sharma, a security guard with a law firm and resident of Kalkaji Extension, told IANS: "Since the day I got my salary I am looking for an ATM to withdraw some cash. Three of my attempts have gone in vain as the ATM runs out of cash before my turn comes."

Asked if he supports the government's move of scrapping the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Sharma said: "I have nothing to do with the government decision, I just want to withdraw some cash as I am left with only Rs 10 in my pocket. Cash is necessary.

"I have borrowed the bicycle from one of my friend to reach here."

There were around 300 people outside the Yes Bank and HDFC ATM kiosks in Kalkaji area around 12.30 a.m. which was dispensing cash till early morning.

Balkishan, a lawyer who had arrived at the ATM with his 12-year-old son, told IANS: "At most of the places, people in the queues do not allow withdrawal from multiple cards. So I have come with my son to withdraw money from two cards."

"We cannot stand in bank or ATM queue everyday, what comes in mere Rs 2,500," he asked.

A similar situation was witnessed outside the banks on Monday morning, which opened after Sunday. Hundreds of people were seen waiting for their turn.

Balwinder Singh, a resident of South Extension Part II who was standing outside Punjab National Bank in south Delhi, told IANS: "It is a completely mismanaged show."

"The government has made the middle and working class people suffer. Today, I skipped my office for the third time since demonetisation to withdraw cash.

"Is the government going to pay me for the days I had to skip my office to withdraw some cash?"

The disaffection with the demonetisation move continued, and seemed even to gain strength over days manifestly, with people waiting in queues denouncing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the strongest terms.

"No amount of cursing is enough for him; he has made the most foolish decision that can be made by any Prime Minister," Nitin, an employee of Wipro Technologies in Sector-3, Noida, told IANS.

"Most of the black money is hoarded in gold and real estate, and the rest in foreign bank accounts. How can such common wisdom be lost on our Prime Minister is beyond me," he said while waiting in a queue outside Sector-16 branch of Axis bank in Noida.

His arguments were subscribed to by other people standing in the queue before him, as they nodded and murmured their assent.

Moreover, the provision of Rs 24,000 for withdrawal, has turned out to be far from ideal, since most banks were barely able to ration Rs 4,000-5,000 to their customers.

"I have these three cheques and I have neither put date nor amount on them, for I do not know how much they will be able to afford or if I will get any money at all," another man in the queue told IANS outside the bank.

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