Sikkim, otherwise a very friendly, safe and clean place to live, is these days witnessing irritating and complaining faces outside the ATMs in its capital city Gangtok. The reason being all the ATMs in Gangtok are running dry.
A report published in the The Sentinel stated that ATMs in Gangtok running dry is causing “huge inconvenience” to the people as well as the tourists. The debit card facility is not there in all places and one needs to have little amount of cash with him or her, opined most of the people.
The report further stated that one of the annoyed residents of Gangtok said that even after visiting more than five ATMs on Saturday morning, he has “returned empty-handed”. ‘Out of Cash’ is the message flashing out in every ATM in Gangtok.
A guard in one of the ATMs said that although the ATMs are being refilled with cash, they run out of cash pronto as people start withdrawing “endlessly”. As Sikkim is a tourist destination and hosts tourists from across the globe all over the year, most of the times serpentine queues can be seen outside the ATMs. Bipin Roy, a tourist from Kolkata, has not been able to make a “balance payment” to the tour operator due to non-availability of cash in the ATMs. Says Roy, “The tour operator doesn’t have a swap machine and I did not carry the cheque book. Now, it is becoming very difficult to make the payment.”
A senior bank manager adds, “There was Diwali holiday and on top of it, this is a tourist season. As soon as the ATMs are refilled, the cash gets withdrawn immediately.” The annoyed tourists and local people are requesting the bank authorities to take immediate steps to ensure that ATMs no longer run dry in Gangtok.