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Diwali Illuminations Light Up Singapore’s Skies, but Traffic Concerns Loom

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Singapore- As Singapore joins the global celebration of Diwali, the city-state is aglow with festive spirit and stunning illuminations. However, amid the joyous celebrations, concerns about traffic congestion loom large as residents and visitors throng to participate in the grand festivities.

Singapore’s connection to Diwali can be traced back to its rich history. The island nation has a substantial Indian diaspora approximately 650000 as per the Ministry of External Affairs, India, with deep cultural and historical ties to the Indian subcontinent. Indian immigrants, who arrived in Singapore during the colonial period, brought with them their traditions, including Diwali. According to 2020 Census, an estimated 172,963 Hindus live in Singapore. Over the years, Diwali has become an integral part of Singapore’s cultural landscape.

Diwali in the Lion City:

Little India is illuminated during Diwali in Singapore

Singapore has long embraced its cultural diversity, and the festival of Deepavali has become a cherished part of the nation’s festive calendar. The city’s Indian community, along with other ethnic groups, comes together to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness symbolizing the victory of good over evil by turning parts of the city into a multicultural extravaganza.

During the festival, the streets are decked-up with colourful lights and decorations, and the scent of delicious Indian cuisine wafts through the air. The annual “Deepavali Light-up” along Serangoon Road showcases a magnificent display of lights and cultural performances that dazzle the senses. This year’s celebrations have kicked off from 27th September till 9th November 2023 at the Little India Village.

Singaporeans prep for Deepavali

While the Diwali celebrations offer a captivating spectacle, traffic congestion has become a growing concern amongst commuters in Singapore. According to a report, although Singapore’s ranking in the global index of congested cities has slightly improved, moving from 45th to 55th place, traffic congestion continues to plague specific roads characterized by sluggish, heavy traffic. Mid-2022 saw traffic volume on expressways rebound to nearly 95% of pre-Covid-19 levels in May, surging from 90% in January despite the adoption of flexible working hours by many companies, as per the Land Transport Authority’s data.

As more residents and tourists flock to the heart of the festivities, the streets of Little India become inundated with vehicles. The situation is further compounded by the narrowing of roads due to the installation of elaborate decorations.

The city-state’s public transportation system, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) plays a pivotal role in addressing the traffic challenges as many commuters opt for ridesharing services and bicycle rentals as eco-friendly and convenient alternatives.

Singaporean authorities have put in place several traffic management measures to mitigate congestion during the Diwali period. Temporary road closures and diversions are implemented to ensure the safety of pedestrians and visitors. However, the sheer scale of the celebration makes it challenging to entirely alleviate traffic woes.

Over the years, Singapore’s Diwali celebrations have evolved into a harmonious fusion of cultures and traditions. While traffic congestion remains a challenge, the city-state’s commitment to celebrating unity in diversity shines as brightly as the festival’s illuminations. As Singapore continues to embrace its multicultural identity, Diwali remains a symbol of unity and harmony for all to share and enjoy.

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