New Delhi– Small shopkeepers, street vendors and auto-rickshaw drivers on Wednesday bore the brunt of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes due to steep decline in sales and passengers.

Many street vendors griped they had to turn back prospective customers offering to buy their wares but wishing to pay in Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes.

Bhagatji, a roadside fruit vendor in Noida’s Sector 16 told IANS: “I was forced to turn back over 100 customers since they were giving me Rs 500 notes.”

“Even in Ghazipur mandi, wholesalers called us up last night (Tuesday) to warn us not to come with Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes as these became invalid from Tuesday midnight,” he said.

He said he feared his fruit will rot in the absence of any worthwhile sales.

Asked about his sales on Wednesday, he said: “Every day, I sell fruit for approximately Rs 5,000, but today it is below Rs 2,000.”

Echoing him, cloth vendor Sudarashan said: “Usually, I make around Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 daily, but my total sale on Wednesday is Rs 1,200 only.”

Even auto-rickshaw drivers felt the heat, as they refused to ferry many passengers due to problem of notes of lower denominations. Very few auto-rickshaws were lined up outside different metro stations.

Auto-rickshaw driver Mohammad Wasim said: “We get a number of passengers in evening hours, but today (Wednesday) we had to turn back many persons.”

“I have hardly earned Rs 700 today as against about Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 daily.”

He said most of his friends driving auto-rickshaws preferred to stay home on Wednesday.

Even liquor shops in Delhi saw no rush of buyers unlike the normal bustle.

A salesperson at a wine shop at Cross River Mall in east Delhi said: “Sales was hit hard today as we have sold just about half of the quantity we sell everyday.”

“People are not coming since they have Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes with them, and most buyers made their payments through their credit/debit cards,” he added.