Traditional shopping hubs like New Market and Gariahat seemed to burst at the seams on Sunday as Calcuttans stepped out in strength to shop on the last weekend before the Puja.
The three intersections on Jawaharlal Nehru Road leading to the New Market area were chock-a-block with shoppers, giving police a tough time to control the crowd.
At one point in the afternoon, the Park Street flyover was clogged.
The malls, on the other hand, were comparatively less crowded, except the Salt Lake City Centre, where residents flocked after a week of poll-related trouble.
"More than the vehicles, it's the flow of the shoppers that is causing inconvenience. Compared to manning traffic, it's difficult to stop scores of people in a hurry from crossing the road," said Prithwish Mondal, a traffic constable posted at the Lindsay Street crossing.
"Usually, it takes not more than 10 minutes to reach Esplanade from Kidderpore on a Sunday. Today, it took me more than 30 minutes because of the crowd crush in the New Market area," said Tasneem Hamid, who was heading for New Market.
At Gariahat, shoppers started spilling on the thoroughfare around 3pm, forcing the police to regulate pedestrians with ropes. The parking lots under the Gariahat flyover was full.