: With crackers of excitement reaching fever pitch, exhilaration was written all over the faces of people from Thanjavur and surrounding areas. Commercial hubs such as Gandhiji Road and South Main Street were reverberated with footfalls of shoppers from 8 a.m on Wednesday.
The rush kept surging throughout the day and reached its peak in the night. People thronged textile, cracker and sweet shops. Gold jewellery showrooms are also doing brisk business in the town by offering a wide range of choices adding colour to the celebration. Besides, road side textile vendors are making a killing.
Co-optex sales exhibition opened at Ramanathan hall has raked in money this year, according to the exhibition manager. "We have made Rs. 80 lakh sales and hope to touch Rs. 1 crore before Deepavali," he said.
Rebate and loan facility available and the attraction of Co-optex saris have drawn hordes of people. Ready made shirts brought out by Co-optex was a big draw with many people lapping up striped and white shirts.
‘We have doubled the sale compared to last year,' said the manager.
But, people say the price has shot up this year. "The similar dress that I bought at Rs. 250 for my daughter last year is now Rs. 500. Every year price soars," said a woman at Gandhiji Road.
On the other hand, shortfall in Kuruvai has wiped the smile off the faces of farmers. "Now, we are pinning our hopes on Samba so that Pongal will be celebrated in a grand manner," said some farmers.
Police have made elaborate arrangements for regulating traffic and crowd, and warding off any untoward incidents. Four wheelers are barred from entering Gandhiji Road. Police have been sensitising people to taking advantage of the public address system. People have been advised to be alert and not to wear jewellery while shopping.
Meanwhile, Thanjavur Collector M. S. Shanmugham and Thrivarur Collector M. Chandrasekaran have appealed to the people to celebrate a pollution-free and accident-free Deepavali . They advised not to burst crackers beyond the permitted decibels between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.