CHENNAI: It was a bolt from the blue for many Chennaiites who were reliant on their plastic cards for buying their daily provisions. ATM cards proved to be as ineffective as the mobile and telephone networks that malfunctioned, preventing many from buying food and essential commodities.
Shops which earlier accepted credit and debit cards, had to say ‘No’ to their customers as cards couldn’t be swiped due to poor network connectivity. “Sir, we will accept only cash. We don’t have network connectivity,” said a shopkeeper to a dejected customer who attempted to buy his daily provisions.
The customer told City Express that he had adequate money in the bank, but couldn’t access it as ATMs didn’t function. This was the tale of most people who turned penniless after ATM cards and credit cards were rendered ineffective. “I have a debit card and a credit card, but no hard cash. The government should initiate measures or else it will be difficult for us to survive,” said Srikant, a pensioner.
Most ATMs in the city either ran out of cash or could not function due to power and network failures. The ATMs that functioned had long queues in front of them. “I surveyed the entire Nelson Manickam and NSK Road. But could not find a single functioning ATM. Finally, I found one on Choolaimedu High Road. But I have been waiting here for almost an hour,” said Subburaj, a resident of Vadapalani.
Bank officials said the cash logistics companies were finding it difficult to transport cash as most roads were unusable the last few days.
Indian Overseas Bank opened a mobile ATM at Central Railway Station on Friday for the benefit of public. Hundreds of people made long queue to withdraw the cash