“Ahare Bangla” - the biggest food festival in the country – recorded an unbelievable 1.5 lakh footfall in the past five days compared to that of 65,000 last year.
The turnover during this period was 2.5 crore which is double the amount earned last year from the festival.
The festival has become one of the most popular fair organised by the state government in Milan Mela Ground resulting in increase in footfall and quantum of business by manifold. Tuesday was the last day of the festival that had begun on October 21.
Rajesh Sinha, secretary of the Animal Resource Development department, said last year the total footfall was around 65,000. This time it has gone up to around 1.5 lakh till Tuesday evening. At the same time, the total amount of sale in the festival had gone up to Rs 2.5 crore compared to that of Rs 1.25 crore in 2015.
“We are happy with the turn out and it shows that people have liked it. After the successful completion of the festival, we will sit and discuss how it can be improved further,” he said.
It may be mentioned that the festival is one of the pet projects of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she had inspired all the senior officials of the concerned departments to take necessary steps to
make the festival more popular as it was not only for amusement of the people but it also provides a platform for good business to the people involved in food industry.
At the same time, many traders from the rural parts of the state, who participated in the festival, had got opening to initiate their business in the city and its adjoining areas with support of investors here.
This was the first time when a separate block has been created as “International Pavilion” where four countries China, Russia, Bangladesh and Bhutan had participated.
There were some stalls in the food festival where there always used to be queue of people to take food from the counters. Thus based on popularity, three awards were given.
The award for “most innovative recipe” was given for a preparation called duck-a-salan and it was prepared by Sigree restaurant.
West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation had won the award for preparing the most popular food in the festival which is a duck roast and the All Fish Restaurant of West Bengal Fisheries Development Corporation (WBFDC) had received the award for the most popular restaurant in the festival. There always used to be queue of people in the restaurant of the WBFDC in the festival because of the “mouth watering” preparations it had served.
Moreover, initiatives which were taken up to attract more visitors had also become helpful. The final round of the cooking competition that had been taking place for the past five days was held on Tuesday afternoon and prizes to the winners were given out.
Sources said that the number of days of the festival would be increased by two to three days as many people had approached the authorities saying that it would have been better if the festival had continued from one weekend to another.