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With cash difficult to come by, business in Coimbatore enjoyed a quiet Sunday

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 14, 2016

It's probably after a long time that workers in shops and establishments in the heart of Coimbatore city got to spend a day with their families. With the owners preferring to down shutters, one of the main shopping areas in downtown Coimbatore, Bazaar Street, wore a deserted look and that too on a Sunday - a day when footfalls in the bazaar area peaks.

"It's Modi effect," said Abdul, a vegetable vendor at the Thyagi Kumaran market.

Even the load men and cart-pullers, street vendors and those seeking alms were absent from the scene.

The crowds at the vegetable market also were rather thin, and the prices of most vegetables had dropped by 30 to 40 per cent in the last couple of days, say vendors.

While potatoes were selling at Rs 25 a kg, onions and tomatoes were available at Rs 10 to Rs 15 a kilo. "Even at these rates there are no takers as there is a huge shortage of Rs 50 and Rs 100 notes. So people end up buying small quantities of each of the vegetables," Abdul said.

Elsewhere in the city too, businesses seemed subdued, but not as quiet as in Bazaar Street.

Downtown shops, be it jewellery, textiles, gift and other shops that cater to wedding planning, were shut on Sunday. Incidentally, most of the transactions in this hub is cash and carry. The rural populace throngs this area as the bus connectivity is very good. And the rates are by common consensus far cheaper than what one would get elsewhere in the city.

Many buyers - particularly those looking for bridal wear, therefore, had no option but to visit other prominent shopping hubs here. Here, of course, there was no cash and carry. But, they were seen coming in large numbers in mini-buses and tempo travellers.

Branches of various banks witnessed hectic activity at start of day, but by noon, most people had started to crowd around ATMs . The numbers waiting to draw/ deposit cash outside SBI, IOB and Indian ATMs were more than that outside others such as HDFC Bank and at select LVB ATMs. Many ATMs were not functional.

Meanwhile, those who rushed to the bank on Day 1 (after demonetisation of the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes) to exchange their invalid notes for the newly introduced "pink" note, bankers say, "came back the next day seeking small change, as small denomination notes - particularly Rs 50 and Rs 100 - became scarce. We have managed today too without too much of a hassle," a banker friend said, heaving a sigh of relief, after close of business hours.

Published on November 14, 2016
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