When the entire country is struggling with the cash crunch, there is little chance of college students in Delhi being left untouched by demonetisation.
Going by a report in the Times of India, landlords of many accommodations rented out to Delhi University students are demanding rent in cash only. As a result, the hapless students are having to spend hours in queues before ATMs to be able to withdraw cash and they are coping by studying while standing in line.
Shifa Naseer, a student in Hans Raj College, reportedly told TOI, "I don't understand why my landlord cannot accept the rent through e-transfer when there is no cash. Instead of studying during my preparatory leave, I had to stand in queue for five hours so that she could get her cash."
Since withdrawal limits at ATMs are restricted to ₹2,000 and accommodation costs range between ₹6,000 to ₹12,000, spending hours in ATM queues just once is not enough.
"My exams are going on, so I asked my landlord if I could pay the rent after my exams, but he did not agree," a Jesus and Mary College student who stays in a PG or a paying-guest accommodation told TOI. "My rent is Rs 8,000, so I had to stand in queue for four days, wasting hours of prep time. I also tried to study in the queue, but with the traffic noise and people talking loudly, it was impossible to concentrate."
Many students complained about landlords being unsupportive at a time when they have exams coming up in a matter of days.
"Last month, I paid my rent of ₹11,000 on 2 November, and on 8 November, after the demonetisation news, the PG owner returned ₹7,000 in ₹500 notes and asked me to exchange and give it to him," Naseer said. "I had to get it exchanged while I was preparing for my exams." Her landlord is not willing to accept rent by cheque this month either, telling Naseer that if she queued at five in the morning she should be able to withdraw the money by ten.
Moreover, with most ATMs on campus out of cash, students have to travel some distance to get money.
"I have to pay my rent by the first week of the month, but I only had ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes," says Gayatri Mishra, a Miranda House student who lives in a PG accommodation told TOI. "So I asked my landlord if he would accept them, but he refused and instead told me to pay the rent on time. Since all ATMs in the campus run out of cash very quickly, I travelled to Vidhan Sabha for several days to get the cash. My rent is ₹11,000, so I stood in queues for five hours every day to withdraw ₹2,000 at a time. Instead of studying, we are standing in queues and the PG owners are getting cash without any difficulty."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his decision to demonetise ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes on 8 November to curb corruption, tax evasion, counterfeiting of notes, and terrorism among other reasons.
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