Demonetization woes continue for public in Telangana, AP

People queue up to exchange notes
Hyderabad: People continued to suffer for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday in the wake of the November 8 demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes as thousands mobbed banks across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Men and women stood in serpentine queues for hours to exchange the spiked notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination with new ones and/or to withdraw cash from their accounts to meet their daily expenses.

The situation remained chaotic at banks and security men had a tough time controlling the crowds.

With most ATMs remaining closed, no relief was in sight for people facing a severe cash crunch.

With new currency notes of Rs 500 yet to arrive at banks on Tuesday afternoon, the hapless people could not do anything but wait. Those who got Rs 2,000 notes were clearly disappointed.

Adding to their woes, some banks refused to exchange notes of people who availed of the facility last week.

"I stood in the queue for three hours, only to be told by bank officials that I will not be able to exchange notes since I had already exchanged Rs 4,000 last week. This is despite the fact that I hold an account in this bank," griped Mohammed Shareef at ICICI Bank's Toli Chowki branch in Hyderabad.

When asked, bank executives said the 'system' can't accept more than one exchange for one person.

In another violation of rules, the said bank branch officials also refused to exchange the spiked currency of those not maintaining accounts in the branch.

Many people complained that bank officials were attending only to a few influential and major customers known to them.

"I waited for more than two hours but bank officials said they can't give me new notes as I don't have an account," said G. Narsaiah, a construction worker, who came to exchange Rs 2,000 in old notes.

"What will I do with these notes of Rs 2,000? Nobody has change in the market," said another customer who was given two notes of high-denomination currency in exchange.

Women and elderly people suffered a lot as there were no separate queues at a majority of the banks. The situation in smaller towns and villages in Telangana was worse.

In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, people stood in long queues outside banks in Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Nellor, Tirupati and other towns to get new notes or exchange old ones.