Trade fair attracts massive footfall on weekend
The first weekend of the annual India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2015 at Pragati Maidan witnessed a huge turnout compared with weekdays and other business days. The fair was thrown open to the public on November 19. While the footfall on weekdays was limited to 70,000-80,000, the turnout on Sunday alone crossed 1,67,000.
“More than 1,67,000 visitors thronged Pragati Maidan on Sunday. International stalls housed in Hall numbers 1, 12 and 18 saw the maximum number of visitors. Pakistan Pavilion witnessed the maximum footfall. Shehnaz Hussain also came to the fair,” said Ajay Kumar Vashisht, general manager (security) at ITPO.
According to a senior official of the Delhi Metro, maximum visitors de-boarded at the Pragati Maidan Metro station, which is close to Gate No. 10. About 75,322 passengers de-boarded from the Pragati Maidan Metro station till 5pm and 97,532 till 8pm, the official said.
The official added that since it was a weekend, 87,171 tickets were sold at the Pragati Maidan Metro station till 5 pm on Sunday, while 10,5732 were sold till 8 pm.
According to traffic department officials, heavy snarls were reported at Ring Road, Bhairo Road, Mathura Road, Sher Shah Road, Purana Qila Road, Bhagwan Dass Road and Tilak Marg. Massive jams were also reported from around the Pragati Maidan Metro station, where autorickshaws were parked chock-a-block to ferry passengers getting down at the station.
Maggi a hit
Hundreds of people thronged the Maggi food stall near Hall No. 7 at the Trade Fair. “This is the only Maggi stall at the fair. It’s the first time that a Maggi stall has been set up at Pragati Maidan and the response has been overwhelming. We are selling 500-600 plates every day. It’s just plain Maggi noodles, but people are thronging our counters more than any other food stall,” said Shobhit Sharma from the sales team of Nestle, which sells Maggi.
He added: “People are craving for Maggi. It is back in the market after six months which seems to be a long time for Maggi lovers,” Sharma added.
Satish Chauhan, one of the food coupon distributors at the Park Balluchi eating centre (next to Hall No. 7), said less than two per cent of the crowd was buying coupons of other food stalls.
“Everybody wants Maggi here. We have other food stalls also offering food like dosas, bhel puri and pizzas but the demand for Maggi has been highest since day 1,” Chuahan said.
Sanitary napkin vends hailed
It’s a first for the IITF and is drawing prying eyeballs as also visits from women. The sanitary napkin dispensing machines installed in washrooms at the fair ground not only seems to have given
a boost to women empowerment but has also shown that gender sensitivity is still a far cry.
Women approved of the move to install the machines, but said there were difficulties in their use mainly due to presence of onlookers, mostly men. This is because the machines have been installed outside the washrooms for two reasons: lack of space within and to sensitise the public on the issue.