New Delhi, Nov 9: Delhi metro commuters faced a harrowing time today due to shortage of Rs 100 notes, even as DMRC accepted notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination for travel card recharge in lumpsum.
Rehman, 45, who travels from Wazirabad to Nehru Place for work, said, "I am only left with Rs 300 (three Rs 100 notes) in my pocket, and we have no reserve amount at home. At metro, I can't get my card recharged for lower amount."
"As per finance ministry, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would be acceptable for 72 hours, i.e., till midnight of November 11 at all metro stations for token and card purchase or recharge. However, there is a shortage of Rs 100 notes in our coffer as well, so we are not in a position to give back the change," a senior DMRC official said.
The customer-care centres at metro stations are accepting higher denomination currency notes for card recharge, but with riders.
"Our minimum card recharge is for Rs 200 otherwise, but in view of shortage of Rs 100 notes, we are only accepting a recharge of Rs 500 in lumpsum, paid through the note. Also, for commuters, with zero or negative balance in their cards, can tender a Rs 1,000 note," a DMRC staff said.
Another staff member at the busy Central Secretariat station, who sits at the token counter, said, "We are not saying no to anyone, bringing a Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 note, but how do we give back the change, we are out of Rs 100 notes."
The Token Vendoring Machines (TVMs) installed at various stations are also only accepting notes of Rs 100 denomination only as of now, the senior DMRC official said, adding, they otherwise accept Rs 500 as well.
"I had less than Rs 10 left in my metro card, when I reached Central Secretariat station. It was a big queue at the customer care. Since, I only had a Rs 1000 note with me and my balance went into negative, I had to get it recharged for that amount only," said, Namita, another commuter.
Many commuters complained that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination notes were "not being accepted at customer care centre in the morning." Long queues were also spotted at customer care centres at Kashmere Gate Metro Station too.
"At Kashmere Gate Metro Station, when I gave Rs 500 for recharge, the staff refused to accept it. Only, when he talked to his senior, that my note was accepted," said Pawan Singh, an IT professional who works in Gurugram.
The government had yesterday, after withdrawing all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes in circulation, announced that the old high denomination currency would continue to be accepted for next 72 hours at certain public utilities.