With Eid al-Fitr just around the corner, ATMs in Hyderabad, Telangana, have been running dry for the past two days. The cash crunch comes just days after Ramzan shopping had reached its crescendo.
Nearly 200 ATMs have been cashless in several areas of Hyderabad's Old City like Vattetpally, Bhavaninagar, Tadban, Chandrayangutta, Tappachabutra, and Kishanbagh, reports Deccan Chronicle.
"The cash agencies replenished the ATMs on Friday night at Falaknuma. I withdrew some amount in hope of withdrawing some more the next morning when I planned to make some purchases. On Saturday morning the machine was not dispensing cash," an NRI, who is visiting his family in India for Eid al-Fitr, told the daily.
"I visited several ATMs at Falaknuma, Shamsheergunj and Jahanuma and adjoining areas but the situation was the same," he added.
The cash crunch has even prompted several shopkeepers and gas station owners to help customers to spend their money using debit and credit cards. The transactions were being made using Point of sale (PoS) machines, the daily reported.
"In the run-up to the festival, several small purchases have to be made. For articles costing about Rs 100 and Rs 200, we cannot make card payments even if the hawkers or vendors have a point of sale machines. The bigger shops have not yet switched over to the PoS or credit card payment option," a resident from Hyderabad told DC.
The news of the ATMs running dry comes just about two weeks after a two-day strike was called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) to protest against the meagre salary hike offered to bank employees.
The strike had crippled at least 5,000 branches in Telangana and around 7,000 in Andhra Pradesh as 80,000 state-run bank employees of both the states decided to join the protests, reports The Times of India.