A 49-year-old vegetable vendor
died on Monday afternoon while waiting for his turn to deposit money as long
queues persisted outside bank branches for the 12th day since the banks
reopened after the November 8 demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency
The vegetable vendor Shatish Sharma died while standing in the queue outside
the Oriental Bank of Commerce branch in west Delhi’s Najafgarh area to deposit
Rs.50,000 in demonetised Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 bank notes.
People, like other days, were seen struggling in serpentine queues to withdraw
cash from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and trying to deposit or exchange
the spiked high-value currency notes in banks across Delhi.
Some expressed frustration and disappointment over the long wait while a few of
them said they have become habitual. And many were angry because their previous
attempts had failed as many ATMs were non-functional, including one at
Connaught Place — the heart of Delhi.
Several ATMs displayed boards of “No cash” and “Out of cash”
on them since morning. Even in the evening, anxious people were seen visiting
ATMs to check whether cash was available.
More than 500 people were standing outside different ATMs and a Post Office in
Connaught Place, 60-80 people in each queue at a time.
“I am trying for two consecutive days but failed to withdraw money from
any ATM in Connaught Place. Whenever, I reach outside any of these ATMs, I have
to stand behind 60-70 people every time. I don’t know when this situation will
be sorted out by the government,” Vibhav Bist said.
Anju Malhotra said “she has become habitual of standing in queue”.
Resident of Paschim Vihar in West Delhi, Vasdev Arora said: “It’s really a
bad decision of the government to demonetise 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. Common
people are being harassed. These leaders and businessmen don’t stand in queues,
then how will they understand our pain.”
Similar sentiment was echoed by another youth Pushpak Tiwari, who was standing
outside the Bank of India branch in Malviya Nagar.
“I am not against the decision but the implementation is really bad.
Government did not plan properly for it,” he said.
At least 40-50 people were waiting restlessly while many were holed up inside
some bank offices in Noida Sector 16 in Uttar Pradesh.
“I came to the bank for the first time since the note-ban and it has
already been half an hour that I am waiting,” said a Financial Advisor
with Genpact standing at the far end of the queue outside Axis Bank.
He hoped to get some cash in hand before the bank closed their business for
the day. He had specially taken a day’s leave from office to be at the bank.
Another man trading in foreign exchange, standing outside the same bank, said
that “although the wait is same as it was on day one, I think it’s a good
“Earlier, we used to exchange rupees worth 50,000 into dollars, and there
used to be lot of customers,” he said.
“However, now we have started asking for proper documents for the smallest
of such transactions, and the number has dwindled. Black money holders are
affected by this demonetisation move,” he said.