42nd Int'l Kolkata Book Fair gets new venue: Salt Lake's Central Park
Kolkata: With renovation work going on at Milan Mela Complex, the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) 2018 will be held at the Central Park in Salt Lake from January 31 to February 11.
The Publishers and Booksellers Guild (PBG) which organises the International Kolkata Book Fair announced the change of venue during a press conference at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to inaugurate the Book Fair on January 30 but it will be thrown open for the public from January 31. Tridib Chatterjee, general secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild said they are indebted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for helping them find an alternative place for oraganising the world's largest attended book fair.
The book fair will open from 12 pm and continue till 8 pm. Publishers from various parts of the country and abroad will put up their stalls. However, the number of stalls will be little less compared to the previous year, organisers said. According to them, there were around 750 stalls in the fair last year.
Chatterjee also added that the Milan Mela complex is going to be renovated thoroughly and it would come up as a new international fair complex as conceptualised by the Chief Minister. She also suggested that the next edition of Kolkata Book Fair can be organised at Salt Lake Central Park. Chatterjee also expressed his gratitude to the state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim and the Bidhannagar Mayor for extending all sorts of co-operation to put in place adequate infrastructure at the venue.
Speaking at the press conference, Chatterjee said the Central Park might be slightly smaller compared to the Milan Mela ground but there is adequate infrastructure available to organise the event. He also mentioned that within the third week of December the entire area will get a facelift.
The focal theme of the forthcoming International Kolkata Book Fair will be France which is considered to be Europe's cultural centre. This will be France's third appearance as the theme of IKBF.
This year, on the occasion of the 70th year of Indo-France diplomatic relationship, the cultural wing of the French Embassy is organising the "Bonjour India Festival" in the selected cities of the country. The festival will start in Jaipur but the closing ceremony will be held at the 42nd IKBF. On this occasion, Damien SYED Consul General of France in Kolkata said: "We are delighted that France is the focus country at the Kolkata International Book Fair this year, and we are proud to offer the Experience, Bonjour India's immersive showcase of the Indo-French relationship, at the heart of this participation."