Bhubaneswar: ATMs that were supposed to bring relief to cash-strapped citizens following the demonetization of higher currency notes, ran dry at most places across Odisha for the second consecutive day on Saturday.
Serpentine queues were witnessed outside automated teller machines in the twin city – Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, and angry exchanges ensued as the machines failed to give cash to the people.
Chaos reigned as some ATMs did not open at all in the two cities.
“I have been in queue since morning. But when my turn came, the ATM slip read: Sorry we are unable to process your request.”
“I do not have cash even to eat. Whatever money I got from my friend was exhausted,” said Priyanka Sahu, a student from Utkal University.
Like her, many suffered the harrowing situation as the ATMs were unable to transact cash.
As a result, people formed long queues outside banks to exchange their demonetized 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, but some still returned empty-handed.
Long queues were witnessed at bank branches for the third consecutive day across the state.
Tourists and foreigners, who had come to Odisha to visit, were seen standing in file to exchange their money.
Besides, the elderly and women in large numbers were queueing up to get the valid currency notes.
An official of the regional office of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) here said: “We are taking all possible steps to ensure that common people do not suffer.”
Around 4,000 panchayats do not have banking facilities in the state.
“The banks have business correspondents in the areas and people could exchange their money from them,” said RBI (Bhubaneswar) General Manager Sarada Prasanna Mohanty.