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More COVID-19 safe management measures in Little India as Deepavali draws near

More COVID-19 safe management measures in Little India as Deepavali draws near

Decorations in Little India as part of the annual street light-up for Deepavali. (Photo: Stanley Chee via Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association's Facebook page)

SINGAPORE: Additional COVID-19 safe management measures will be put in place at Little India as more visitors are expected there in the run-up to Deepavali, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Monday (Oct 18).

These measures include blocking off a popular pedestrian crossing at the junction of Campbell Lane and Serangoon Road between 6pm and 1am from Oct 29 to 31.

This crossing will also be closed from 6pm on the eve of Deepavali, which falls on Nov 3, to 2am on Deepavali itself.

Instead, human traffic will be redirected to two other crossings at Sungei Road and Dunlop Street.

“This will ensure that crowds are spread across the precinct and prevent choke points during peak periods,” said STB.

Little India – traditionally the heart of Deepavali festivities in Singapore – is also a hub for shoppers looking to get their festival essentials, said the authority.

It added that it has been working with stakeholders to ensure that businesses in the area do not extend their wares onto pedestrian walkways, which may narrow the path and lead to crowding.

On top of that, some businesses will be extending their operating hours so shoppers can spread out their visits.

Enforcement of safe management measures in the area has also been stepped up ahead of the festive season, said STB.

FESTIVITIES GATHERING PACE

Deepavali festivities in Little India kicked off at the end of September, involving a mix of online and hybrid activities.

One iconic element of the major Hindu festival was the annual street light-up held on Sep 25, featuring decorations that are “reminiscent of the architecture of South India”, said organisers.

Other activities on offer include cooking classes for those hoping to make sweet and savoury Deepavali treats.

Merrymakers can also take part in heritage tours, treasure hunts and social media competitions, such as a TikTok dance challenge.

Joining in the celebrations, the Indian Heritage Centre will also be decked out with decorations, such as a miniature replica of an arch from the Deepavali street light-up. It will also be organising 15-minute trishaw rides every Friday evening until the end of October.

Those celebrating at home can also do so with the centre's online offerings, which include a short film and information about the evolution of the Deepavali light-up.

Though the Festival of Lights falls on Nov 4, festivities in the Little India precinct will run until late-November.

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Source: CNA/cl(zl)

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