Three-day bank holiday adds to the woes of cash-starved public

Hyderabad: The three-day holiday for banks from Saturday is sending jitters and nightmares to the people, especially the poor and middle class, besides the aged pensioners, who are already reeling under innumerable hardships and untold agony for the past one month for want of cash for their daily needs.

While there seems to be no relief for people from the cash crunch following demonetization of big notes, the closure of banks for the next three days — tomorrow being second Saturday, followed by Sunday and Milad-un-Nabi on Monday — is like rubbing salt into the wound.

Though long queues before banks, which continue to claim less cash availability and most of the ATMs continue remain shut, has become a regular feature these days, people in hordes made a beeline to the banks on Friday in view of the three-day holiday for banks. What is intriguing is that despite the banks being closed for the next three days, the authorities have not taken any extra measures to ensure whatever little amount that could be dispersed for the daily needs would be made available to the people.

It is a heart rendering sight to watch aged pensioners standing for hours before the banks, leave alone to get their partly pensions, to know whether their pensions have been credited to their accounts. Despite tall claims being made by the baking authorities, including the RBI and the Union Finance Ministry, no special arrangements were made at the banks for senior citizens, including the pensioners. In fact, it has become a regular feature for the people to rush to banks early in the morning every day, stand in the queue for hours and  return empty handed with the banks claiming ‘no cash’.

The daily grind comes amidst reports that the CBI and police are nabbing many unscrupulous elements with hoards of cash at various places. Thus demonetization seem to have affected only the common man as the unscrupulous are continuing their nefarious activities, the opposition parties are engaged in disrupting parliament, the ruling party members are busy in a blame game and the Prime Minister, the brain-behind the demonetization, is avoiding parliament and preaching to the people to be patient from outside. Then who will come to the rescue of the people for their daily need of cash, is the big question plaguing the minds of everyone. -NSS

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