By; Royan Ranjan, INN, Chennai, @infodeaofficial:
Recent cyclone Varda and demonetization has hit Tamil Nadu hard. While the former affected left a trail of destruction in the form of destroyed building, boards, houses and uprooted trees which were there for many years. After the announcement of demonetization by central government, life has already become troublesome for many across the state and the recent cyclone has doubled the tragedy for Tamil Nadu. Skipping office, reaching late and lunch times are being used by people use to wait outside banks and ATMs to withdraw money. After devaluation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, people had gone through rough time but cyclone has compounded it all the more.
Demonetization has emptied people’s pockets as Banks and ATMs lack cash and most of the time you will see ATM shutter down. Cash problem has not only impacted people’s life for more than a month but the recent cyclone has done more than double in a day. State never lost so much greenery ever before which hit lost in a day due to Varda impact. Electricity, internet and mobile networks were down for more than a day leaving people helpless. As market was going through cash crunch, managing daily life was not easy. Home Maker Jaspreet Kaur says that to handle daily expenses, she was facing cash crunch and the recent cyclone has doubled the problem. Standing in queue outside bank or ATM has become a daily task for her as she could withdraw only Rs 2,000 a day and post Varda, getting cash was not less than a medal and managing household and outside work was like winning a competition.
Lack of Internet and Mobile Network doubled the problem
After the cyclone, most parts of Chennai and rest of the State were down with electricity, internet and tele communication. This has shown impact not only on ATMs but in shopping malls, stores, restaurants and petrol pumps too. When city was going through network problem, banks were also affected and operations were slow. After Varda, people were thronging in banks and ATMs but it has to return empty-handed due not less cash. Pay anything online or through net banking was not possible. B.E. student Kamalesh Giri from Sathyabama University says that after demonetization PM Narendra Modi was asking people to avoid cash dealing and use online transaction. I think this natural disaster must have given a sense to the Government about the importance of preparedness to deal with Natural Disaster amid cash crunch in future. India is a country where most population of country lives in rural areas that are not exposed and aware to online money exchange. In such a situation it’s very important to understand that we are not in the era where these facilities can ease our life. We need to work to strengthen the infrastructure which would be very useful in coming future. At the same time it’s also important to develop a parallel system which will help in certain situation.