Minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes from midnight, people rushed to their nearest ATMs to withdraw Rs 100 notes to meet their daily expenses.
With most ATMs programmed to dish out higher denomination notes of Rs 500 and above, people were resorting to withdrawal of smaller amounts of up to Rs 400 to avoid getting a Rs 500 banknote.
People were even seen trying to deposit banned notes in ATM vending machines.
“As soon as I learnt about the decision, I rushed to the ATM to withdraw some money as I was having only Rs 500 notes.
But there was a big queue and I managed to withdraw Rs 2,000 in five instalments,” a TCS employee said.
A businessman from New Rajendra Nagar Sanjeev Saxena said: “Its a very good decision. There will be some initial problem.”
Delhi University student Vashisht Saxena termed it a good step to curb corruption. “We are ready to face some difficulty,” he said.
Another businessman from Chandni Chowk said the sudden move has created a ruckus in the market. “There are big queues at ATMs and people are fighting for their turn to withdraw the money,” he said.
Taking the nation by surprise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight announced demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes with effect from midnight, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption.
The petrol pumps around the country too witnesses an unusually long queues as people rushed to fill the tanks of their cars using Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
Low salary population such as maids and office boys were left in a state of shock.
One woman in Delhi said, “I just got the salary today. All in Rs 500 denomination. But, you are telling me I can’t use it for next two days. How will I run my family? I don’t have any other cash. Neither do I have any bank account.”
Then there were some unexpected casualties. The announcement came as a rude shock to plenty of train passengers who were on their way to their destination when Modi made the announcement.
19-year-old Amir told Janta Ka Reporter, “I’m currently travelling to Patna and will board a bus for another city, which is at least 80 kms from the state capital. All I have got are Rs 500 notes. Now, the ATM is closed, banks are shut and I have no idea how I will manage my journey from Patna.”
Serpentine queues were witnessed tonight at ATMs and petrol pumps across Punjab and Haryana, including in Chandigarh, barely an hour after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes with effect from midnight.
In Chandigarh, there were long queues at most of the petrol pumps.
Despite the prime minister, in his televised address to the nation, making it clear that people holding currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 can deposit the same in their bank and post office accounts from November 10 to December 30, people rushed to ATMs and petrol pumps.
“I thought everyone was stocking up. So, I too followed suit. I will fill up my car’s fuel tank which will also help me dispose of some of the Rs 1,000 currency notes. I thought I could also get some currency notes of lower denominations in change which will be of help in the present scenario,” said Baldev Chand while waiting in a long queue at a petrol pump here.
Similar scenes were witnessed at many petrol pumps of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala, Gurgaon, Faridabad and other towns in the two states.
People also rushed to ATMs to withdraw currency notes of lower denominations, while some said they were queueing up to deposit the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes in the cash deposit machines.
(With PTI inputs)