Chandigarh: Cash crunch troubles senior citizens, pensioners


Sector 17-C in Chandigarh which is better known as the bank square. Lanes of dry ATMs blatantly speak volumes about the troubles of cash crunch people are reeling under from last 25 days.
Dry ATMs have become a new normal for the people. The worst hit is the working class which got their salaries four days back. However, not being able to withdraw enough cash to pay the wages of maids, fees of their children and above all the house rent has stolen the joy. Reluctant towards cheque payment, the landlords have switched to cash.
Nearly 90 percent of ATMs in Chandigarh have been shut due to short supply of currency
Most of the ATMs and banks in Chandigarh remain cashless on the fourth day of releasing salary on Sunday. People were forced to stand in long queues in front of the ATMS which dispensed the cash inadequately. The ATMs only dispensed Rs 2000 due to inadequate supply of currency notes of Rs 100.
Shiv Kumar Aggarwal cannot see and is about to retire. He travelled all the way from Zirakpur with his wife to Sector 17 of Chandigarh to withdraw his salary. He has not able to collect from last four days.
The Aggarwals had to travel for more than 15 kilometres as the ATM in their town, Zirakpur, have gone dry.
“All ATMs in Zirakpur are shut. There is no cash. We heard about Sector-17 SBI branch so we came here. It is very difficult to get cash. Here also, we will only get Rs 2000, which is not enough,” Shiv Kumar Aggarwal said.
After the salaried class, the pensioners are found struggling outside the ATMs.
Avtar Singh, a retired government servant, failed to withdraw his pension. He lives in Dhanas, located close to Chandigarh. His plight has severed as he is finding it difficult to buy ration, pay the electricity and water bills.
“Forget about the house rent, we are not even able to pay our water and electricity bills. The cash crunch is really painful at this age,” Avtar said.
Despite a holiday, the cash crunch has successfully snatched fun from Sunday. The people who normally spend the weekend at hill stations or before their television sets are now forced to stand in queues.