Hyderabad: Thousands of people flocked to banks on Thursday for exchange or deposit of monetised currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
Long queues were seen at bank branches across Hyderabad. People started arriving even before the banks opened.
Though it was announced that the banks will open at 8 a.m., the transactions started only at 9 a.m. While some banks like ICICI opened the doors for public at 9 a.m., many public sector banks had not opened even at 10 a.m.
"I am standing in queue for two hours. The officials told us that the bank will start transactions at 10.30 a.m.," said Raghava Chary, a customer standing in queue at State Bank of India's branch at Yousufguda.
At ICICI Bank's branch at Toli Chowki, the transactions started at 9 a.m. The staff helped the customers with filling up of forms for exchange of notes and getting Xerox copies of their identification cards.
The exchange limit was for Rs 4,000. The bank officials were giving a new note of Rs 2000 and 20 notes of Rs 100. They said the bank had not received new notes of Rs 500.
The customers received the new note with curiosity but the problems remained in the market with severe shortage of change since Wednesday.
Though there was no limit on deposit, for big amounts the banks were insisting on PAN number. Those drawing Rs 10,000 from their bank accounts were also asked to produce their identity proof.
Long queues were also seen at the Reserve Bank of India's regional office at Saifabad. Some people including contractors were carrying more than Rs 4,000 and were requesting the officials for exchange so that they can make the payments for labourers. However, the officials expressed their inability to give exchange for more than the prescribed limit.
Police were deployed at bank branches in Hyderabad and other towns in Telangana and at Vijyawada, Visakhapatnam and other places in Andhra Pradesh to control the crowd.
Director General of Police of Telangana, Anurag Sharma directed all superintendents of police and police commissioners to take all necessary steps for crowd control.
Similar directions were issued to the district collectors in Andhra Pradesh by Chief Secretary S. P. Tucker.
Andhra government also set up a help desk in Vijayawada to help people. People can dial toll-free number 1800-599-1111 in case of any problem. (IANS)