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TURA, Dec 13: With Christmas just about ten days away, demonetization has begun to bother most people of the Garo Hills region as residents face an unprecedented cash crunch owing mainly to demonetization.
"I have labour payments to make and no cash in hand to make them. We are only able to draw Rs 24,000 a week which is not even remotely enough to pay for the salaries of labourers who are eagerly awaiting money for Christmas. What answers do I give them," asked Wilness Marak, a small time contractor of Resubelpara in North Garo Hills.
Similar stories have emerged in almost all parts of the Garo Hills region as the countdown to the biggest festival for the Christian dominated state begins.
Long queues have been witnessed in all banks in Garo hills with resident making desperate attempts at getting their hands on money.
"This has been the saddest Christmas for all. I had made huge investment prior to the announcement of demonetization. However since the announcement there has literally been no sale as people don't have money. I am expecting a huge loss this festive season," said R Saha, a mobile shop owner in Tura.
Last week saw the first suicide of a farmer who was unable to pay money due to his neighbour. The suicide of the farmer (1st in Garo Hills) has left a sour taste in the mouth with family members now set to demand compensation for his death.
"This situation is unprecedented wherein you cant even use your own money to transact. We desperately seek the centre's intervention to ensure a lively Christmas for all the North Eastern states, as Christmas is our biggest festival," added Wilness.
Meanwhile the clamour for a representation to the Centre in view of the upcoming festival to be sent gathered further voice, with other residents too clamouring for some respite.
"We ardently hope the deputy commissioners along with bank staff of all the districts will send a representation to the Centre in view of the problems being faced due to the upcoming holiday season. We cannot be left cold or more people will commit things that they will later feel bad about," said Sengnab Momin, another resident of Resubelpara.
Similar thoughts were echoed yesterday by the Salmanpara MLA, Winnerson D Sangma, who had requested the DC and bank officials of South West Garo Hills (SWGH) to write on the matter and seek an early resolution to ease the problems being faced.
"How many times do I have to line up to withdraw my own money? We are getting tired of these restrictions. It will be a very dark Christmas if nothing is done for the Christian dominated North East," added Sengnab.
(Featured Image Source: Internet/ Representational)