BENGALURU: Several ATMs of various banks across the city are facing shortage of cash. While bank officials describe it as a weekend trend, the situation could repeat on a worsened scale this coming weekend, which will see four days of bank holidays starting Thursday.There are also instances of ATMs being damaged by frustrated customers who were welcomed by cashless machines. In the process of venting their anger on the machines, they have rendered some ATMs useless.
Bank officials say such a shortage occurs especially when there are a string of holidays, as will be the case the coming weekend as both Thursday (Mahavir Jayanti) and Friday (Good Friday) are bank holidays.
In some places, many ATMs are cashless all at once. Shiva P, a resident of Chinnappa Garden, said, “On a 1km stretch in Chinnappa Garden area, the six ATMs that I checked on Sunday did not have any cash. One ATM has been shut since Friday. On Saturday, only one of them was working.”
On Saturday, The New Indian Express found that most ATMs in Malleswaram did not have any cash. Again on Sunday, most ATMs on stretches of Mysuru Road, Cunningham Road, Vasanth Nagar and Sheshadripuram were cashless. Some even had signs on them saying they were temporarily out of order.
In addition, as per reports, at least 20 ATMs were allegedly damaged over the last week by citizens frustrated with the absence of cash. This was confirmed by CCTV footages from the ATMs, which showed citizens punching and kicking the machines as they did not dispense cash.
Gangadhar N, divisional manager, Canara Bank, MG Road, said, “Yes, there is some shortage (of cash)
now. There are two types of ATMs — the in-house ones which are maintained by banks, and the outsourced ATMs, where money cannot be put beyond the set cash limit. Sometimes, when many holidays bunch up together, such a shortage occurs at the outsourced ATMs.”
Another factor is that prior to holidays, citizens planning to go outstation have the tendency to withdraw more money as a precautionary measure, especially if they are going to rural areas, Gangadhar said. He added that the currency flow returns to normal after the end of such long holidays.Some banks claim to take measures to prevent such shortage. A State Bank of India employee said that prior to the extended weekends, cash is taken to ATMs at important locations and customers are given an advisory about the holidays so that they can withdraw money in advance.Mohan Reddy, Convenor for SLBC Bank, said that for PSU banks the currency is sent by the Reserve Bank of India and hence they generally do not face such issues.