BENGALURU: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement late on Tuesday, D500 and D1,000 notes suddenly became untouchable. Panic spread across the city in a desperation to get hold of notes of lesser denominations and ATMs resembled cinema counters with serpentine queues. Much of the frenzy was also prompted by messages on social media exhorting people to rush to ATMs.
Bengalureans were noticed desperately pleading with unrelenting shopkeepers to give change for D500.
S Hema was relieved after she was able to withdraw D400 after a long wait outside an SBI ATM at Munnekollal Main Road in Marthahalli. “I was like the 60th person in a queue of over 100 people waiting to withdraw cash.”
She added,“I was tempted to withdraw a little more but the security staff there shooed me away saying only D400 per person is allowed due to the long queue.” Many were trying to deposit money too.
S Akram, a security at R T Nagar’s Vijaya Bank, was giving tips to those queuing up outside to withdraw D400 thrice if they wanted the precious D100 notes only. “We allow three transactions per person and this is the best way to get only hundreds,” he said.
At M G Road’s DCB Bank ATM, art teacher Kalpana Venson and her relative were pleased that they were able to get hold of a few hundreds. “My husband withdrew money just today and believe it or not we have only only 500-rupee notes and not a single D100. How will we buy milk and other basic provisions in the morning if we need them?”
Many ATMs were forced to put ‘Out of Service’ boards as cash got exhausted quickly. Cunningham Road’s ICICI ATM was one such. The security staffer here said, “So many people came after 9 pm and everyone wanted only D100 notes. The machine ran out of cash.”
At least two strangers approached this reporter with a D500 notes, requesting change. Shopkeepers were a harassed lot. They kept turning away customers who pleaded for D100 notes in exchange of D500. Sarfaroz, working at a mobile shop, said, “I had to say no.Even I watched Modi’s speech!”
Rush at petrol bunks too
Long queues were observed outside petrol bunks across the city. With the announcement that petrol bunks, other than airports and hospitals, will be accepting D500 and D1,000 notes until November 11, many headed towards petrol pumps to take advantage of the situation and fill up their fuel tanks. However, not all petrol bunks were accepting the notes. Ravindra Kumar of HSR Layout said, “Since I had very less petrol in my vehicle and only D500 with me, I thought I will make good use of it in a petrol bunk. I went to three places, the first two refused to accept the note while the third one did.”