IT’S carnival time at Little India with makeshift tents for a Deepavali mega sale mushrooming all over the enclave in Penang.
The tents were set up by businesses dealing in textile, jewellery, household goods and sundry shops including restaurants.
They can be found along Market Street, Penang Street, China Street and Queen Street for the ongoing sale until Oct 17. Deepavali falls on Oct 18.
Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Penang, president Datuk N. Gobalakrishnan said about 40 shops had received approval from the Penang Island Municipal Council (MBPP) to put up the makeshift tents.
“Only shops with permanent structures that have been doing business in the existing place are allowed to set up the makeshift tents,” he said.
Gobalakrishnan added that outsiders would not be allowed to set up any businesses during the festive period.
Meanwhile, for the convenience of shoppers during the Deepavali sale, several roads leading to Little India will be closed to traffic from 9am to 10pm on the two weekends before Deepavali, namely Oct 7 and 8, and Oct 14, 15, 16 and 17.
MBPP Infrastructure and Traffic Committee alternate chairman Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the roads were Penang Street (between China Street and Chulia Street), Market Street (between Beach Street and Queen Street) and King Street (between Chulia Street and China Street).
“While families shop with their children during this period, the closure would enable them to move safely along these roads,” said Muhammad Bakhtiar.
He added that the traders fully supported the closure as the roads have become too narrow after the setting up of the makeshift tents.
Ananda Bawan group of restaurants owner V. Harikrishnan welcomed the move by the council, saying it would give shoppers more room to move freely.
“I’m sure business will be better for the traders too as it would be more convenient for shoppers to park outside and do their shopping.”
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