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Mamata holds coordination meet for 43rd Kolkata Book Fair

The fair that will be inaugurated by Banerjee on January 30, will have Guatemala as the theme country

Mamata holds coordination meet for 43rd Kolkata Book Fair

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday held a coordination meeting for the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF), which kicks off at Salt Lake Central Park on January 30, 2019.

"Books are our pride and are intrinsically linked with our culture. Instructions have been given to all concerned departments to ensure that all measures stay place to ensure smooth conductance of IKBF," Banerjee told reporters at the state Secretariat Nabanna.

The fair that will be inaugurated by Banerjee on January 30, will have Guatemala as the theme country for 2019. "We will not allow any meeting or gathering which is political in nature inside the fair grounds. The fair will be limited strictly to books and cultural exchanges," said a senior official of the Publishers and Book Sellers Guild, which organises the fair every year.

The official added that circulars will be handed over to every single publisher to ensure that no rallies or meetings of political nature are held in the Mela ground.

There will be a total of 650 stalls and around 200 stalls for little magazines. UK, USA, Russia, China, Japan and Vietnam, apart from 11 Latin American countries and Bangladesh, will participate in the fair.

It may be mentioned that the state Transport department has made excellent arrangement for buses to ensure that the people visiting the book fair face no trouble. This year there will be better arrangement and the elaborate plan for the same is being chalked out by the department.

Meanwhile, the department of Public Health & Engineering (PHE) was instructed to have adequate arrangement of potable drinking water at the fair ground. The state Information & Cultural Affairs department will look after the publicity aspect, while Kolkata Police, in coordination with Bidhannagar City Police, will ensure foolproof security arrangement and at the same time, streamline traffic movement.

The last edition of the fair recorded around 2.2 million visitors and books worth Rs 22 crore were sold. The 6th Kolkata Literature Festival, a highlight of the book fair, will be held from February 7 to 9. The event will be a collaboration of writers, directors, historians, authors and theatre personalities.

Iran is scheduled to participate for the first time in the book fair, which will conclude on February 10.

Apart from Banerjee, state Education minister Partha Chatterjee, state PWD minister Aroop Biswas, state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim, state Fire minister Sujit Basu and Bidhannagar Mayor Sabyasachi Basu also attended the meeting, along with senior officials of different departments.

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