50 days: In Patna, no queue at banks but at RBI

In Patna the RBI issued just 100 forms a day for people to fill up if they wanted to exchange old currency notes. Just one counter set aside for the purpose also delayed the process

Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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Navendu Sharma

Over the past few days there hasn’t been much last-minute rush in bank branches in Patna. But the queue in front of the office of Reserve Bank of India here for exchange of old notes with new ones remained as long as on any other day since November 8.

At around 1 pm on Wednesday, about 75-80 persons were waiting in front of the RBI office. A student Rakesh Kumar said, “We have been waiting since early morning to exchange old notes with the new ones. But the RBI issues only 100 forms required to be filled for the purpose every day, with some of them set aside exclusively for women.”

Therefore those who fail to get the form are forced to return the next day. Moreover, he complains, only one counter is functional for the purpose of exchange of notes. “What is funny is that the RBI is giving only ₹10 and ₹5 coins in return.”

He explained that people like him, who are visiting the state capital or living temporarily in Patna, have no bank accounts here and are therefore forced to queue up before the RBI office.

A student Rakesh Kumar said, “We have been waiting since early morning to exchange old notes with the new ones. But the RBI issues only 100 forms required to be filled for the purpose every day, with some of them set aside exclusively for women.” Therefore those who fail to get the form are forced to return the next day. Moreover, he complains, only one counter is functional for the purpose of exchange of notes. “What is funny is that the RBI is giving only ₹10 and ₹5 coins in return.”

The bank ATMs in the state capital are meanwhile limping back to normal. But there is much shortage of ₹500 notes, putting people to difficulty.

Madhav Kumar Choudhary, a medical representative, said at the ICICI Bank’s Doctors’ Colony, Kankarbagh branch ATM that he had come to withdraw ₹1,000 but due to unavailability of ₹500 or ₹100 notes in the machine, he had to withdraw ₹2,000. “With a ₹2,000 note, I shall have difficulty in making small purchases.”

At the nearby HDFC Bank’s Kankarbagh branch ATM also, ₹500 notes were not available. In the same locality, all four ATMs of the SBI were down, allegedly due to link failure. Some distance away, the Punjab National Bank’s ATM in Gandhinagar, and HDFC Bank’s ATM at Bhootnath Road, Kankarbagh however were dispensing ₹500 notes, indicating some improvement in their availability.


Navendu Sharma is a journalist based in Patna

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Published: 30 Dec 2016, 2:56 PM