In a race against time

daily struggle:Customers waiting in front of a bank on Sunday. —Photo: G. Sribharath

daily struggle:Customers waiting in front of a bank on Sunday. —Photo: G. Sribharath  

Though the RBI direction to keep banks open till 8 p.m. on Sunday brought some relief to stressed residents, many across the city were still left scrambling from one bank to another.

Residents alleged that some banks downed their shutters as early as 3.30 p.m., while some others barred customers from entering saying there was ‘no cash’.

After seeing the mad rush at banks over the first few days, Kamala S., a resident of Teynampet, had decided to postpone her visit to the bank to Sunday.

“I visited two banks and both their shutters were down. The security personnel informed me that the bank had run out of new currency. But when I went to a third bank at 4 p.m., I was the last customer let in. The bank downed its shutters and many standing outside were told that there was no money and were asked to come the next day. However, when I reached the counter, the cash boxes had ample money in two denominations — Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 100,” she said.

“What followed was commotion, as a few customers who were standing inside questioned the bank officials. When the staff complained of having to work on a Sunday and wanting to leave early, an argument ensued. The staff finally relented and reopened the shutters allowing the people to enter,” she added.

According to residents, many banks stopped currency exchange early in the day and only allowed account holders in.

The staff said that only banking services like deposits and withdrawals were allowed.

However, some said that account holders were permitted to exchange currency.

Apart from banks, residents in the city had trouble with LPG agencies as well. Many refused to accept Rs. 500 notes, which, the residents said, was against instructions given by the government.

Madhu, a resident of Dr. Nair Road, said: “When the gas agency staff came home to deliver a cylinder, they refused to accept the note. I immediately called up the agency. However, the staff on the other end of the line said that she was unaware of any such instruction, and that they would not accept the money. But, later in the evening, the cylinder was sent home and the money was accepted.”

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