On Wednesday, the government suspended toll collection on all highways across the country till November 11 and also asked banks to be opened and working this weekend as millions of people are struggling to adjust to a life without the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency note. Moreover, Banks have also been asked not to charge for any ATM transaction till December 30.
In a tweet, Nitin Gadkari said, “It has been decided to suspend Toll across all National Highways till midnight of 11th November to facilitate smooth traffic movement.” Further, he added, “There will be logistic issues in returning change for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes,” Gadkari said.
Reserve bank of India said that transacting through ATM will get better and will dispense Rs 50 and Rs 100 notes from Thursday. PM Narender Modi’s late addressing to the nation on Tuesday on demonetised Rs 500 and 1000 currency notes has resulted in 86% of currency in circulation by the value no longer being accepted as legal tender.
However, the government has allowed some concession for the use of these notes at hospitals and crematoriums, and to buy air, rail and bus tickets till November 11. Moreover, toll plazas also continued to accept the devalued currency, as per an earlier announcement by the ministry.
“The commuters are giving us Rs 500, but are not ready to accept it. This is the main reason for the chaos and arguments with people. We are facing a lot of difficulty,” said public relations officer Skylark toll company Kirpal Singh.
“Eighty percent of the commuters have given us Rs 1000 and are not ready to accept Rs 500 in return,” he added.
Many commuters tried to hand in the scrapped notes just to get them changed into Rs 100 and Rs 50 denominations, but the concessionaires ran out of paper money and traffic slowed to a crawl. Due to which, thousands of commuters and office goers got stuck in a massive traffic jam at the Gurgaon-Delhi Expressway on Wednesday.
ATMs will remain closed on Wednesday and Thursday and will start dispensing new currency notes on November 11 that relieve some of the cash crunch brought on to the nation by surprise.