Law Kumar Mishra

Patna: Withdrawal of high denomination currency notes since November 8 midnight night has made the lives of bank customers nightmarish. At Patna, the exchange of old notes at the bank branches and post- offices is also difficult due to shortage of funds in the banks.
While one newspaper on November 12 morning reported 85 % of the ATMs were closed, a visit to different parts of the state capital on Saturday noon confirmed hardly 10% of ATMs were functional. Rest of them displayed notices with `Out of Service’ regret shortage of funds etc.
On Ashok Rajpath from Gandhi Maidan to Patna University, hardly any ATM functioned. Their shutters were either down or if open, displayed `out of service’ boards. At Allahabad bank branches of B N College and Patna University, exchange of old notes was difficult due to heavy rush of customers and less amount at the branches. The Bankipore head post- office had long queue leading to Ashok Rajpath opposite Sabzibagh even in the evening hours.
Khetan market and Bari Path generally remain crowded with the customers for shopping particularly during the marriage season. Most of the shops on either side were without customers with shop- keepers having an idle life throughout the day. Bank ATMS here too remained out of order. At a nationalised bank branch opposite All India Radio, long queue of customers with request forms for exchange of notes and identify cards had spill over effect and people were seen standing on the main road.
In Kankarbagh colony, right from the main road to the Shivaji Park, branches of Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Dena Bank and State Bank of India were engaged in issuing fresh notes in exchange of old notes. ATMs of these banks either became operational for few hours or showed out of service
notices. Money deposited in the ATMs became empty literally within an hour of being filled up. Respective police stations were kept busy in providing security to the mobile vans transporting cash from RBI to different branches and ATMs and managing rush of customers.
Even on the fourth day, customers had to take casual leave from their offices to exchange notes or collect money from ATMs. Same was the fate of the college going students on Ashok raj path as they had to skip their classes in different colleges in PU.

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