There was total chaos at the main branch of SBI here, as irate customers flooded the premises, questioning the bank’s move to block their ATM cards without a warning.

Many customers, including those on a holiday, experienced anxious and embarrassing moments when they found that their ATM cards had been blocked since they hadn’t yet linked their accounts with Aadhaar and PAN.

“I had no prior intimation that my card was blocked for not seeding my bank account with Aadhaar,” recalled a customer, who had been holidaying. “Fortunately, I had another card and some balance in that account. I just wanted to head back, cutting short my holiday. But my children would be extremely disappointed if I took a U-turn within hours of leaving the city.”

Such instances have become rather common over this fortnight. Recently, a woman reportedly had to rush to the bank to draw cash because here card wouldn’t work at the hospital, where her husband had been admitted following a road accident.

Anxious and irate customers are queueing up at bank branches, with complaints and queries.

A senior citizen, who was among those waiting to get his account linked, was furious with the bank for forcing him to rush, almost three months ahead of the March 31 deadline. “Are they not aware that the deadline has been extended? I rushed here only because I have to pay my bills and domestic help in the first week of January and don’t want to be stuck with a non-working ATM card,” he said.

Coimbatore Consumer Cause’s secretary K Kathirmathiyon questioned the banks’ move. “It is highly objectionable that the banks are doing it (linking Aadhaar and bank accounts) in such a hurry and using threatening tactics to ensure customers comply,” he said, urging the banks to un-block the cards.