Bhubaneswar: Small traders and common people were facing severe hardship after demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes even though ATMs opened on Friday after a two-day closure.
Long queues were witnessed at banks and ATMs as people rushed to get new bank notes. However, they faced difficulties in withdrawing money at hundreds of ATMs in Bhubaneswar and other cities as many ATMs ran out of cash in a couple of hours.
Lakhs of people were disappointed as thousands of ATMs did not dispense cash. Adding to the woes, some ATMs were still closed, said sources.
"I had gone to the bank on Thursday and stood in the queue for hours. When my turn came, the bank manager said that the new notes were finished by that time. Now, the ATMs have no cash. I don't know what to do as I have no money," said Ranjan Samal, an engineering student studying in a Bhubaneswar college.
The few people who succeeded in withdrawing money also faced problems in exchanging them in the markets for smaller denomination notes like Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs 10.
"Small businesses like medicine stores and roadside food stalls are not accepting high denomination notes. The local buses and auto-rickshaws are also not accepting them. Even though I managed to withdraw money from an ATM, I cannot eat anything nor travel," said Biswajit Rout, a resident of Bhubaneswar.
"Our business has been affected due to the demonetisation. We hardly transact any business as we don't have small denominations. People are coming with Rs 500 notes and we don't have change. The problem will persist till the demand and supply gap in floating cash is bridged," Odisha Byabasayi Mahasangha (traders' body) General Secretary Sudhakar Panda said.