Delhi celebrates Dhanteras, roads choc-a-bloc with traffic

Delhi celebrates Dhanteras, roads choc-a-bloc with traffic

Muslim students of Anjuman-e-Islam school light earthen lamps to mark Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights

Akhila Sharma, a home maker, who had gone to the Karol Bagh market to buy gold, said that it took her more than two hours to reach the market from her home in Rajendra Nagar - a distance she generally covers in 20 minutes.

"The traffic was maddening! I think I would have reached faster had I walked the distance! Once I reached the market, it was another struggle to make way to the jewellers' shop," Sharma said.

"Had it been any other day, I would have put this off but it's Dhanteras and it's auspicious to buy gold. Therefore, I bought a gold coin and gold bracelet for my daughter," she added.
On Dhanteras, the goddess of wealth Lakshmi is worshipped to provide prosperity and well being.
Richa Misra, a scholar, said that she particularly timed the arrival of her new car on Dhanteras.

"For a long time I have been thinking of buying a car and this time when I mentioned it again to my parents, my mother urged me to get it on Dhanteras, since it's an auspicious occasion to buy something new," Misra said.
"I am little wary of the traffic in the evening, but then the thrill of finally getting the car home beats it all," she added.

With the markets all lit up in the evenings and people thronging the shops, and strings of tiny electric bulbs dazzling the neighbourhoods, Delhiites, like in the rest of India and elsewhere, are all set to celebrate the festival of lights Saturday.
On the flipside, however, the congestion on roads has been a cause of dismay to many.
According to a traffic police official, roads around Punjabi Bagh, Ashram, Pitampura, Rohini, and Connaught Place have heavy traffic since early Thursday. Extra police officials have been deployed to help ease the traffic conditions.

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