<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While people rush to banks and ATMs at odd hours to withdraw money and exchange Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the number of devotees visiting Siddhivinayak temple has gone down by almost 50 per cent over the past 10 days.The temple in Prabhadevi is not particularly close to any of the local railway stations, requiring devotees to either walk, take a bus or a taxi, further dampening visitors since the latter two typically require smaller denomination notes. And it is not only about visiting the temple — offering of garlands, flowers or coconuts has also become difficult due to the unavailability of change.Sanjiv Patil, the Chief Executive Officer of Siddhivinayak Temple Trust said that the number of devotees visiting the temple has come down by almost 50 per cent. He said that while 45-50 thousand devotees visit the temple daily, while the number goes up to 1.25 lakh on Sundays and Tuesdays.Patil said that no one can be blamed for the situation since people are already facing problems and are spending hours in the queue outside banks and that is the reason number of devotees is going down. “I am hopeful that the situation would come to normal in coming week,” he added.Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision of demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes on November 8 which was a Tuesday, Patil said the effect was felt on the very night.“The news spread all over resulting in reduction of number of devotees from day one at the temple. On Sankashti Chaturthi, the temple trust generally collects Rs 8 to Rs 9 lakh but it collected Rs3.90 lakh on that day in the donation box,” he added.
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