Citizens made a beeline outside banks and post offices on Thursday as currency exchange began. While many post offices started cash transactions including exchange of new notes with old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, many post offices weren't ready for the exchange.
"We are yet to get stocks for exchange from the treasury. We probably will start exchange of notes only from tomorrow. For now we are accepting cash deposits by customers who hold accounts with us", said a staff from a South Bengaluru post office.
Customers waiting in long lines had to return empty handed as post offices refused to exchange notes citing lack of stocks. "I was hoping to exchange Rs 500 notes with the new notes but I was asked to come back either tomorrow or in the post-lunch session. There is confusion and the common man is bearing the brunt. One can only hope that ATMs will be of some respite", said Anand, a customer who had to return empty-handed from a post office. In many other places, people thronged post offices more than banks since the cap at post offices were pegged at Rs 4000/person as against at banks with Rs 2000/person.
In Mysuru, tourists including foreigners waited in line at post offices to exchange currency notes. Sudden move by the government towards demonetizing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes had caused massive inconvenience to people in tourist spots. Police were deployed outside post offices to bring the crowds under control and ensure smooth transactions.