Serpentine queues were seen outside banks here, which opened today after a day’s break following the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, as people jostled to get lower denomination currency and new banknotes to pay for their daily basic needs.
Mumbaikars started queueing up as early as 6 AM in the morning, nearly 3-4 hours before the banks open.
Several bank officials said most of the branches were witnessing unprecedented huge rush and therefore, they have sought the deployment of police personnel to deter any unwarranted circumstances.
The customers, however, seemed frustrated with some banks exchanging only Rs. 2,000 with Rs. 100 notes.
“I was in queue for four hours to exchange Rs. 4,000. But unfortunately I was permitted only Rs 2,000 to be exchanged that too with Rs 100 denomination,” said Ashwin Kadam, who stood in queue since 6 AM at the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank limited branch in suburban Vikhroli.
Clarifying on the issue, an executive of the bank said, “We are facing liquidity crisis. As and when the RBI supplies us sufficient notes we would start disbursing the notes with full permissible limit”.
He also said that they have opened additional counters and cancelled the leaves of the staff to meet the demands.
The RBI has ordered all the banks across the country to work on this Saturday and Sunday also to serve the people.
Some customers who approached post office branches were seen displeased as they were unable to exchange the now defunct currency notes.
Some people were also miffed with the exchange limit of Rs. 4,000.
Venting out her disappointment, Pramodini Naik, a housewife, said, “It seems we have to spend five to six hours daily for one month or two months to exchange the notes. This is really disgusting. Banning black money is ok, but certainly not this way”.
Meanwhile, some banks issued SMS on cell phones to inform their customers regarding the process to be followed to deposit the notes.
“Special squads of RBI officials are conducting random checks in the bank branches and keeping a tab on the developments,” a senior official of Union Bank of India said.