Eagerly-awaited Deepavali shopping season is here once again

Shoppers occupying every inch of South Masi Street in Madurai on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

With further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, people in Madurai have started their Deepavali shopping. On Sunday evening, people thronged the shopping areas in the heart of the city leaving the roads choked with traffic.

The shopping frenzy was more prominent at East Masi Street - South Masi Street Junction near Vilakkuthoon. People shopped for a wide range of products - from textiles to readymade garments and groceries, and the streets were filled with people and all kinds of vehicles.

With no signs of a heavy rain in the evening, people were encouraged all the more to come out for shopping with their families. But most of them flouted the mandatory COVID-19 protocol. While some wore face masks, maintaining physical distance went for a toss. A large number of street vendors had spread their ware. They are hoping to recover the business lost during the lockdown last year.

While the police allowed pedestrians and two-wheelers into the core shopping areas, cars were denied entry beyond the Veli streets due to the huge crowds.

People were of the view that due to heavy traffic on most of the roads, mini buses run by the TNSTC should be diverted through roads with less traffic till Deepavali is over. Movement of share autorickshaws should also be regulated for smooth traffic flow.

However, not everyone is encouraged by the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. The fear of a possible third wave still looms large. A resident of Sakthi Nagar said that she preferred online shopping, like her neighbours.

“People were complacent during the second wave of COVID-19. We cannot take chances,” she said and pointed out that people were not following the mandatory COVID-19 protocol.

Assistant Commissioner of Police -Town Traffic A. Thirumalai Kumar said that public announcements are being made in the heart of the city urging people to follow the rules and the COVID-19 protocol. Also, traffic diversions are announced over the public address system for the convenience of the shoppers. Since the crowd is expected to swell in the coming days, temporary parking arrangements would be made, he said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 9:28:51 PM |

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