Banks and ATMs on weekend witnessed more chaos and even longer queues as cash-starved people jostled to exchange and withdraw money. The cash dispensing machines went dry soon due to heavy rush.
Long serpentine queues were witnessed at bank branches for the third straight day across the country. Similarly, people were seen impatiently waiting outside ATMs to withdraw money.
People, including the elderly and women, queued up to get currency needed to meet their daily expenses.
To add to the misery still half of the ATMs were non-functional, making people get agitated about the lack of infrastructure preparedness for the note exchange programme.
There are about 2 lakh ATMs across the country.
There were reports of many elderly people collapsing while waiting in long queues.
According to bankers, the situation is unlikely to change for some more time, may be another 8-10 days.
They also expressed their apprehension with regard to chances of crowd becoming unruly for which they feel banks don’t have adequate security arrangements.
Reports of chaos and scuffle at bank branches and ATMs streamed in from different parts of the country on Friday.
There were also reports of heated exchanges between hassled customers and overworked bank officials at several branches.
Since the recalibration for higher denomination of valid notes is being done for ATMs, the stock of low value Rs 100 got over very fast because of the huge demand, said a banker.
Taking into consideration, problems faced by people, the government on Thursday extended use of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for paying household utility bills, fuel, taxes and fees as well as purchases from co-operative stores by another 72 hours till November 14.