Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Long queues at ATMs and petrol pumps as panic grips citizens

Jamshedpur, Nov. 9: Long queues could be seen till late night at fuel retail outlets, ATM kiosks and at ATMs with cash deposit machines as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcement of scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes from midnight.

Panic, anger, praise and confusion – the reaction was mixed in the city as long, serpentine queues were seen outside ATMs, while roadside shops, restaurants counters refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes after they were demonetized by the Narendra Modi government from midnight on Tuesday.

“We just got the news. We cannot take the money. I wanted to use the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes both at the fuel outlets as it was announced that fuel outlets will have to accept it till 72 hours (November 11). I finished my dinner and rushed with my car to the nearest fuel outlet to find a long queue, said a resident.

However, the fuel outlets owners made a re-think of their strategy in the morning and most of them opened with proper display boards informing masses to take either fuel of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 or tender exact amount of lower denominations at the refill stations. Residents also made a beeline before ATM kiosks till wee hours to take out notes of lower denominations.

Cigarette shops, grocers and stationers et al all declined to accept the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. “Please spare us. What will we do with this tomorrow,” the shop owners pleaded.

“Who thinks about us? He was supposed to bring back black money stashed abroad. But he has carried a surgical strike on the people of India. How will we meet the expenses tomorrow? Already some ATMs are running dry of Rs 100 notes,” said an elderly man.

“What about my father who is to undergo a surgery tomorrow and I have already withdrawn money from the bank to pay the bill? Naturally, they have withdrawn the money in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes,” said a distraught man, who seemed unconvinced even when he was told that hospitals was allowed to accept the notes.

Another man said he did not have any money in his pocket to pay his taxi fare for returning home. “I had planned to draw out some money from the ATM to pay the fare, but look at the queue now. If the stock of Rs 100 notes are exhausted, how will I go home? The taxi driver will surely not accept the Rs 500 denomination note”.

However, another man standing in the same queue seemed ecstatic. “Modi has shown what stuff he is made of. It is a masterstroke. Only black marketeers and the unscrupulous are angry and unhappy.”

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