'Area of each stall at Book Fair to be reduced to create more open spaces'

kolkata: Steps have been taken to ensure more open space in the Kolkata International Book Fair this time in the wake of Covid pandemic.

In a bid to do so, the area of each stall will be reduced compared to that of the last time.

Chief secretary HK Dwivedi on Tuesday held a meeting with the Publishers and Book Sellers Guild, where a detailed discussion has taken place to ensure safety of people when the fair is getting organised amid the Covid pandemic.

The 45th International Kolkata Book Fair is going to be held at Central Park Mela Ground in Salt Lake on January 31, 2022 with Bangladesh as the focal theme country this time.

Though the Covid positivity rate has considerably dropped, the state government is not ready to take any risk that may deteriorate the situation.

It has been well informed to the Guild's president Tridib Chatterjee and general secretary Sudhanshu Dey in Tuesday's meeting.The measures are being taken considering that there would be turn out of more number of people at the book fair this time as it is getting organised after a gap of a year due to Covid pandemic.

To avoid heavy gathering, the stalls of small magazine will also be set up in two separate zones. The Covid protocols have to be strictly followed. No one would be allowed to enter the book fair without mask.

Similarly, close watch has to be kept on the stalls. Gathering or heavy crowd in any stall will not be allowed. In that case, people have to stand in queues outside the stall and enter one-by-one.This time there will be two pavillions for English books instead of one to check gathering of people at one place. There will be around 600 stalls.

Directions have also been given to ensure deployment of adequate buses.As per the government sources, there will be close surveillance so that auto-rickshaws do not charge exorbitantly to book lovers.

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