Banks seek police protection National anthem must before film as pay day queues get longer at all cinemas: SC
CURRENCY CHAOS Firms give day off, public anger erupts at several places over shortage of notes
The fears of payday chaos began to come true on Wednesday. Queues at banks and ATMs became longer, cash ran out quicker, and banks sought police protection and put their own limits on withdrawals.
The government has put a cap of `24,000 on what a person can take out in a week and all of it can be done in one go. However, on Wednesday, banks in major cities were giving out no more than `10,000 per person, and shrinking the amount to `.4,000 at some branches.
Still, several bank branches ran out of cash within hours of opening on Wednesday morning. “Banks have already started seeing more crowd. Since old people are not familiar with net banking, they prefer coming to the branch,” said a bank official. This at a time when most banks are getting less than half the cash they need.
The results are inevitable in an economy where an overwhelming 78% of consumer payments are made in cash.
“Angry customers, who did not get cash, locked up bank staff at a few branches in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The situation is getting out of hand. We have sought police protection,” said CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association.
The bulk of the salaries get credited to bank accounts.
But most of them have a cash component. In the case of some, such as domestic help, the entire payment is in cash. And those who get salaries electronically usually line up at ATMs to withdraw money for expenses, such as school and medical fees, newspaper bills, and other sundry purchases. So the good old Indian jugaad has come into play. Sunita Srivastata, a 36-year-old housewife living in Lajpat Nagar, has offered to buy her maid groceries instead of paying the `500 salary. People line up outside a bank to deposit old notes in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked all cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened “for the love of the motherland”, reigniting a debate over whether an increasingly assertive brand of nationalistic pride is stifling civil liberties.
The court banned dramatising, abridging or making money from the 52-second-long Jana Gana Mana and said the national flag, the Tricolour, must be displayed on the movie screen when the anthem is played. Moviegoers must stand up and all doors of cinema halls be closed at such times to stop people moving around. Theatre owners have 10 days to implement the order.
“These days, people read things that have nothing to do with nationalism but don’t study material related to nationalism,” said a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra. “Universalism is alright but still Bharat is the epitome of culture, knowledge... Gyaan and Vigyaan... people should feel that they live in a nation and show respect to the national anthem and the national flag.”
The order will likely embolden Hindu groups which are pushing a strident brand of nationalism that many oppose as just a means to curb dissent. It is also likely to stoke the debate over a resurgent wave of nationalistic activism which has sometimes seen fights break out over cricket matches and film stars.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the order will be enforced by the country’s overstretched police, which will also have to worry about self-appointed vigilante groups trying to bring to bear the court directive.
Just before the BMC elections, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre approved the third phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTPIII), which aims to boost the suburban railway infrastructure in the MMR. The project – with a completion cost of Rs10,947 crore – is expected to take five years to finish. New railway lines planned under this project are expected to make commuters’ journey seamless, fast and hassle free, besides reducing the number of deaths on tracks every year.
Every day, approximately 7.5 million people travel in Mumbai’s local trains with more than 2,900 services. The MUTP-III will improve suburban railway connectivity in the MMR spread in the districts of Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Mumbai. The project envisages the construction of two additional lines between Virar-Dahanu Road, doubling of the line between Panvel-Karjat and elevated lines between Airoli-Kalawa stations, besides the procurement of 47 new 12-coach trains.
Quadrapling the Virar-Dahanu line will ease out pressure on the existing busy double line between Virar-Dahanu Road, which is a part of main line Mumbai – Ahmadabad / Delhi route.
“The main line is already oversaturated and there is no scope for supplementing suburban services on this line. Construction of an additional double line between Virar-Dahanu Road will address the demand of commuters in this region”, an official release said.