November 11, 2016
At a time people are hit by a serious but temporary cash drought, there is this hotel in Tirunelveli who is allowing locals and out of the town customers to eat now and pay later.
For many people, especially tourists, were totally caught unawares by the sudden withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes and were facing a tough time all over the country. In Tamil Nadu too, the problems people faced were similar – huge shortages of currency leading to a situation similar to one of run on the banks.
However, just like during the floods, good Samaritans came to the rescue of those stranded by organizing food and essentials for them. Like this hotel owner, G.Vishnu, Hotel Sri Balaji of Tirunelveli. “Most of our customers are locals. We cannot allow them to starve just because they had only Rs.500 notes, now invalid.”
Which is why, the hotel allowed the customers to eat meals now and pay later, when they get cash in hand. Even if they were outsiders, it does not matter, Vishnu said.
“We did not tell the people that the food is free, as it might have offended some guests. So we told them, they can pay the bill amount during their next trip or when they are able get fresh cash,” Vishnu said.
Some 80 people had their meals in his hotel over the past two days. Of them, ten had already paid up after they somehow managed to get money from ATM, he said.
But overall, in the state, tales of woes of people continued to pour in from every nook and corner. ATMs running out of cash or simply out of order was the most common sight, whether it was Chennai, Madurai or Puducherry or any small or big town or village.
People began queueing up early in the morning, though banks opened only at around 10 a.m. but private banks like HDFC and ICICI opened earlier.
Many people had tried their luck yesterday also, but failed. Today was no different for G Srinivasan of Mylapore. “I took leave yesterday and stood in queue in two different places. No money by the time my turn came. Today I came early in the morning and still found myself at the fag end of the line. Hope, today there is enough money for my turn to come.”