GUWAHATI, April 12 - After South India, a major financial crisis is facing the State, especially Guwahati, which is apparently facing acute shortage of cash with a good number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMS) running empty, much to the chagrin of thousands of customers.
The authorities concerned, however, continue to remain in deep slumber with no visible efforts being initiated to alleviate the woes of the common man.
There is also no word coming from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to bail the customers out of the unprecedented situation, compounding people�s anxiety with every passing hour.
The crisis scenario assumes greater significance in view of the Rongali Bihu festivities, when the cash flow in the market witnesses a major upsurge.
Customers of nationalized banks like the State Bank of India, which is the biggest player in the banking sector with the most number of ATMs, have been the worst sufferers.
While a section of bank employees expressed their helplessness, stating that they are not getting adequate cash to fill up the ATMS, some attribute the situation to poor connectivity.
A similar trend was witnessed in South India as where a serious shortage of currency was reported a few weeks back.
In Guwahati, while the shutters are down at many ATMs, some others are just displaying the �no cash� and �out of service� signs, leaving the customers in a helpless situation.
�From morning till afternoon, I had visited nearly 10 ATMS of various nationalised and private banks in Guwahati but could not lay hands on a single currency note,� said Niva Boro, a Central government employee, sharing her ordeal with this newspaper.
�I had some urgent payments to make. Finally, unable to get cash from the ATMs, I had to borrow some cash from a friend. This is just not acceptable,� she said.
A senior citizen of GS Road area, while expressing his disgust said, �These days, it has become a Herculean task to find an ATM that coughs up cash. I haven�t found one for a while.�
Meanwhile, customers of another major public sector bank, United Bank of India (UBI), are also having a harrowing time in the last few days.
The Online Banking system of UBI is not working and customers wishing to access their accounts online have been unable to do so. Even the UBI�s toll-free helpline is not working. Whenever calls are made to the helpline, nobody picks up the call.
A senior official of the SBI, responsible for functioning of the ATMs in the Northeast circle, admitted that there is a shortage of cash, but refused to share further details.