The Jamia Cooperative Bank in Delhi’s Jasola locality on Saturday handed over 2,000 coins of Rs 10 denomination to a public relations professional. Imtiaz Alam went to withdraw Rs 20,000 from the bank when officials told him they were running short of cash. They agreed to pay him in coins, which weighed 15 kg altogether, after he pleaded with them.

Alam needed the money for an official trip to Goa and other expenses. He had waited in the queue for nearly five hours. “The ATM at the bank has not functioned even once since demonetisation came into effect,” he told The Indian Express. “The bank, too, is perpetually low on cash.

The country has been grappling for cash, and banks and ATMs have seen serpentine queues since November 8 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. A 70-year-old man died in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday as he fell ill while standing in a queue to exchange notes.

On Friday, the Supreme Court observed that the long queues outside banks were a serious problem and could lead to riots, even as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said they were getting shorter and people were waiting patiently.