Queues shorten as 82,500 ATMs get recalibrated, normalcy expected by November end

Queues shorten as 82,500 ATMs get recalibrated, normalcy expected by November end
Queue outside ATM in Thane. Picture Courtesy: Santosh Kumar

Around 40 percent of all ATMs in the country have been recalibrated as of November 21, and are now dispensing the newly printed high value currency notes of Rs 500 and 2,000.

There are a total of 2.2 lakh ATMs in India, of which over 82,500 machines have been recalibrated.

Rituraj Sinha, President Cash Logistics Association of India, also told news agency PTI that the ATMs have been reset as per the direction of task force set up by the government to ‘expedite the process’.

Sinha, who is also a member of the task force headed by RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra, further stated that the task of recalibration has been completed while maintaining regional balance, although rural areas have been given priority.

Apart from recalibrating the ATMs, the cash vending machines are also stocking more cash, going as high as Rs 60 lakh at a time, to cater to the high demand.

The non-calibrated machines were running out of cash quickly as they could only hold around Rs 5 lakh in Rs 100 notes.

The excess cash, along with the ability to dispense high denomination currency, has already led to a visible decline in ATM queues.

Further, all stakeholders like the RBI, banks and cash logistic companies have been working seamlessly to ensure the cash reaches people in the least possible time.

Cash supply process has also been streamlined to meet the requirements of ATMs and many such machines at various parts of the country have started working round the clock.

As a result, around 12,000 to 14,000 ATMs are getting recalibrated on a daily basis. At this rate, almost all ATMs would be recalibrated and functional by the end of this month.

Earlier this week, the government also managed significantly to reduce the transportation time of cash from printing to distribution stage with the help of helicopters and IAF airplanes. With the new and faster means, the transportation time of cash has come down from 21 days to 6 days.