Challenges ahead but Guild to prepare hard to make Kolkata Int'l Book Fair a success
Kolkata: The Publishers and Book Sellers Guild — the organiser of the 42nd Kolkata International Book Fair will have a tough task to ready the Central Park Grounds at Salt Lake for the event that kicks off from January 30 next year. The Guild had asked the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to hand over the ground to them on January 19 but the latter said they would not be able to do so before January 22 as three more fairs will be held on the ground before the Book Fair.
"It will be a challenge but the Kolkata International Book Fair is an event of great pride for the city and so many foreigners turn up during the fair. We are ready to work overnight and take the extra burden to make the ground ready in whatever time we get," Sudhansu Dey, president of the Guild said. The Guild has to accommodate as many as 700 stalls on 15 acre land and the space at Central Park is naturally not as much as that of the Milan Mela grounds which had been the permanent venue for the fair since 2008.
The Milan Mela is being closed for complete overhaul and the state Urban Development Department has undertaken the renovation work.
The Guild will be visiting the Central Park next week to chalk out a blueprint for the place where the theme pavilions of France and the Bangladesh will be set up. "It is a fact that the pavilions will not be as spacious as that of Milan Mela. There will be trimming of space for the so-called big stalls too," a senior Guild official said.
The Guild has made plans to create some hangars for smaller stalls to give it a disciplined look. "We had already paid a visit a few days back and have found that there are encroachments at the ground. We will talk to the BMC and urge them to remove those," the official added.
According to sources in the BMC, the series of fairs at the Central Park will begin with Saras Mela on November 24. It will continue till December 4. The second fair will be in the form of Sabala Mela that will be held from December 9-19. The third one will be the Bidhannagar Mela that will begin from December 25 and will end on January 21.
Member Mayor-in-Council (Solid Waste Management) of BMC Debasish Jana said: "We will make the best arrangements possible in terms of cleanliness, drinking water, toilets and lighting to ensure the best of amenities at the fair ground. So many foreign delegates will be coming so we will ensure that they have no reasons to complain. There will be bio-toilets, regular cleaning of the ground and dustbins."
The Guild authorities, however, have made it clear that the food stalls in the fair will be reasonably lower because of the space crunch. The Book Fair will be held till February 10.