Hyderabad/Vijayawada, Nov 8 : Panic gripped people in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes will not be legal tender from midnight on Tuesday.
People queued up at ATMs in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and other towns to deposit high denomination notes. There were many customers going for withdrawals from ATM with the hope of getting Rs 100 notes.
The sudden decision took people by surprise. With banks to remain close on Wednesday and ATMs over next two days, people lined up at ATMs. However, many were disappointed as the machines were not dispensing Rs 100 notes.
Security personnel had a tough time in control the crowd. Notwithstanding the announcement by the government that the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes can be deposited in banks or post offices from Nov 10, people lined up at ATMs to deposit the higher denomination notes.
"There will be more crowds when banks will reopen. I wanted to avoid this," said techie Sudhir Kumar at an ATM in IT hub Madhapur in Hyderabad.
People said while the government decision may be good and help in curbing black money, the sudden move has hit them. "How will I buy milk, vegetables and other essentials tomorrow (Wednesday). Nobody will accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and I don't have notes of lesser denomination," said Aleemuddin Siddiqui, a retired government employee.
The small businessmen and daily wage workers were the worst affected. "The government should have given a time for 15 days before implementing this decision. The hurry with which this was announced has badly hit the common man," said Srinivas Chary, a businessman in Vijayawada.
Chaos prevailed at petrol bunks as customers queued up with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in their hands to buy fuel.
Petrol pump owners said while they had no objection to accepting these notes, shortage of change is the biggest problem. They said people were not understanding their difficulties and demanding change.
The panic created by the shortage of change spread to grocery shops, medical stores and other business establishments.