TV Today Survey: ATMs follow Modi's advice to go cashless

India Today Bureau   New Delhi,Lucknow,Chandigarh     Last Updated: January 11, 2017  | 12:03 IST
TV Today Survey: ATMs follow Modi’s advice to go cashless

A three-state survey conducted by the TV Today Network to assess cash supplies two months after prime minister Narendra Modi junked 500 and 1,000-rupee bills has found that the national capital still remains worst hit by currency shortages, followed by Punjab.

More than 70 percent of ATMs in Delhi were found to be running dry, the survey revealed. Of the 100 cashpoints India Today reporters visited in the city, only 25 had people queuing up outside them - simply because the rest were parched.

Delhi's north-east district was the driest of all, with 90 percent of its ATMs unable to dispense cash, the survey found. In the posh southern parts of the city, more than 70 percent of the machines had no money. In east Delhi, half of ATMs were found to be useless for customers. Around 40 percent didn't have cash in the city's west district.

India Today reporters examined 100 ATMs across Punjab, which will vote to elect a new state government next month. They discovered only 22 machines were able to dispense the maximum quota of Rs 4,500. Worse, just eleven of 100 ATMs had the new 2,000 bills to dispense.

As many as 67 cashpoints were found to be totally dry. The state's key Malwa region, the survey noted, suffers the most from the cash crunch. As high as 80 percent of Malwa's ATMs were found to be empty. Punjab's Doaba belt had 70 percent and Majha more than 66 percent of their machines running dry. In capital Chandigarh, only 9 of the 23 ATMS surveyed could disburse Rs 4,500. Only seven of them were filled with 2,000-rupee bills.

In all, more than 30 percent of ATMs in The City Beautiful didn't have cash. India Today reporters found citizens were acutely upset with scarcity of low-denomination notes. Customers were seen moving from one ATM to another to get their daily quota of money. In many locations, people had to cover several kilometres in search of a working cash machine.

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In poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, India Today reporters observed that more than 45 percent of ATMs were deficient of cash. The UP sample size was made up of 105 machines across the western, eastern and central parts of the state.

In rural Uttar Pradesh, the crisis appeared to be acute, with around 53 percent of ATMs running dry there. Region-wise, the relatively prosperous parts of western Uttar Pradesh were found to most affected.

More than 90 percent of ATMs in this zone were unable to deliver cash, the survey discovered. The situation was much better in central UP, with 60 percent machines functioning. Out of 305 ATMs assessed in three states, only 20 percent were able to dispense Rs 4,500.

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