Patna:Majority of ATMs of public and private sector banks in Patna and elsewhere in Bihar have gone dry much to the distress of the citizens.
With shortage of currency leading to public outrage, Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has exuded confidence saying that the situation will be normal soon, and people will not have to face problems in getting cash.
In the state capital, majority of ATMs displayed ‘No cash’ and ‘Out of service’ signs, forcing people to hop from one ATM to another in a desperate bid to get cash.
The city has nearly 1,500 ATMs of different banks and majority of them are not operating due to shortage of currency.
Most of the people, who were reminded of their inability to withdraw cash from ATMs immediately after demonetisation, are at a loss as to why the ATMs have gone dry now.
Jitendra Kumar, a private company employee and resident of East Boring Canal road, is among those who faced cash crunch on Monday.
“...Since I had to board an auto-rickshaw, I needed cash and so walked for about one and a half kilometres but did not find cash in ATMs of different banks in the route.
“I took it lightly thinking that it may be an aberration but as I moved ahead, it started reminding me the days of demonetisation...Finally I could withdraw some from an ATM of ICICI bank on Boring road...," Kumar said.
Similarly, Ashok Sinha, a photographer by profession, too faced the heat of cash shortage on Tuesday when he had to move lanes and bylanes of the city. “I went to an HDFC bank ATM on Monday to withdraw the money but I did not find cash. Then I went to an ICICI bank ATM from where I returned empty handed," Sinha said.
However, Vivek Singh, who had come to buy goods at a mall, said, “We still need cash to carry out our daily transaction but it is equally true that post demonetisation, the dependence on cash has reduced to some extent as people now make payment through mobile apps and cards too".
Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds finance portfolio, yesterday met Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi during which he discussed the problem of cash crunch being faced by banks in Bihar.
Jaitley talked to the secretary, financial services on phone and asked him to resolve the cash crunch issue in a day or two, Sushil Modi said in a statement.
The situation was no better elsewhere in Bihar. A report from Muzaffarpur said that almost 90% of around 100 ATMs in the district, considered as financial capital of Bihar, have gone inoperative for want of cash.
In banks particularly in rural areas less amount of cash is being delivered to customers due to limited cash availability.
Similar is the situation in Darbhanga and Bhagalpur. Limited delivery of cash triggered in a fight in a bank in Benipur area of Darbhanga on Tuesday. Reports from different parts of Bihar highlighted people’s soaring disappointment due to currency shortage at a time when marriage season is on.