LUCKNOW: A resident of Madhopur village in Itaunja Surya Prakash was extremely worried throughout Sunday, as he was unable to withdraw any currency notes from three of the banks located in Itaunja (State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank or Bank of India).
And with the marriage of his daughter barely a week away, tension was gradually tightening its grip over the face of Surya Prakash. However, luck smiled on Surya on Sunday evening, when his neighbor Parameshwar Deen handed over Rs 4,000 after withdrawing the same from a bank.
Reacting to the noble gesture of his neighbor (Parameshwar Deen), Surya Prakash virtually fell short of words, and in an emotionally choked-voice thanked the benevolent move of his friend.
But, all were not as lucky as Surya Prakash in getting cash notes (either in form of withdrawal from banks or in exchange for the old higher denomination notes). Long queues of people were spotted outside 13 bank branches located in a stretch of nearly 10 kilometres covering areas of Bakshi ka Talab, Mahona and Itaunja. And with lack of server connectivity being reported from some of the places, the situation only deteriorated from bad to worse.
Radhalal, a daily wage labourer, who severely injured his foot, had to limp to get inside the Corporation Bank at Bakshi ka Talab, and had to wait for a couple of hours to get the currency notes. “Almost 30 days back, I fell from a wall and sustained injuries on my foot. I am lucky enough to get Rs 2,000, which I would use primarily to meet my medical expenses,” Radhalal said.
Residents of Kotwa Shiv Prakash and Sahdev were standing in a queue outside Punjab National Bank since early Sunday morning. “However, a couple of push forced us to the tail of the queue, and we had to start the waiting process once again,” said Shiv Prakash, while pointing to the serpentine queue. The branch of Canara Bank was facing problem of server connectivity. Local residents complained that the branch officials started the banking operations at around 1.00 pm, and by 2.30 pm, they closed all the banking operations, without citing any valid reasons.
At State Bank of India, Defence Banking Branch Bakshi ka Talab, 60-year-old Nankau complained that he has been standing in the queues for the past two days. “Yesterday, when my turn came, the cash of the bank simply exhausted. Today, I am standing since 7.00 am, and I don’t when I would be able to get the currency notes.” However, Amit Kumar and his brother Sumit refused to budge from the queue outside the SBI following the news that the server connectivity has crippled. “We would withdraw currency notes from this branch even it means waiting till midnight,” said Amit, which was endorsed by Sumit.
Ram Naresh, after shuttling between the ATMs of Bank of Baroda and Allahabad Bank was able to withdraw Rs 2,000. “I would be able to meet a few of my expenses. But, I don’t know how my friend Ram Awadh, a resident of Barabanki would be able to meet the expenses for the marriage of his daughter scheduled to be held on November 25,” he said.
Reacting to the ongoing post-demonetization scenario, Arjun Kumar, the branch manager of Bank of Baroda’s BKT branch said, “On Sunday, at 3.00 pm, the bank’s cash exhausted. Since this is a small branch, the average cash arrival at this branch is around Rs 1 crore. Post 3.00 pm, we were only accepting cash.”