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EKUSHEY BOOK FAIR

Mismanagement irks visitors

Cultural Correspondent

April 18th, 2024 | 05:06:02 PM

Many of the visitors and publishers on Sunday, the fourth day of month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair, complained that the fair organising authorities were yet to make the fair a visitor-friendly place.

They expressed their disappointment over not taking effective dust control measures. They also alleged that the fair organisers did not clean the fair venue and provide sufficient dustbins, while the toilet facilities in the fair were very poor. Construction of separate temporary toilets for men and women beside the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh gates were not completed. Many female visitors were seen returning from the toilets as the female toilets were in a bad condition while many were seen using those under-construction male toilets. Bangla Academy deputy director Ruksana Smrity inspected the progress of work of the toilets. She said that there were toilet facilities at three places at Suhrawardy Udyan part of the fair. ‘The construction of temporary toilets will be completed by tonight,’ said Smrity. Faizul Khan came in the fair with his family from Uttara. ‘We do not expect something like this from Bangla Academy,’ said Faizul, urging the fair organising authorities to address the toilet issue as soon as possible. Rabin Uddin visited the fair with his friends and expressed his disappointment about dust, unclean fairground and the absence of dustbins. ‘There is no dustbin in the fair and people are throwing waste here and there. The fair organisers should arrange sufficient dustbins across the fair ground,’ said Rabin. According to the fair guideline, there will be a dedicated stall on Bangla Academy premises for displaying new books submitted to the information centre of the fair. No books were in display as the construction of the stall was not completed till the fourth day. Moreover, publishing houses, Riddhi, stall number 20, and Educentric, stall number 53(Ka), were constructing their stalls while workers were painting the pavilion of Bangla Prokash on the day. Bangladesh Publishers and Booksellers Association vice-president and Puthiniloy publisher Shamal Paul said that publishers had already noticed the mismanagement issues and decided to arrange a meeting with the academy soon. Ekushey Book Fair organising committee member secretary KM Muzahidul Islam claimed that 40 cleaners worked on Sunday night to clean the fairground and the organisers would arrange dustbins on Tuesday. He also said that the stalls for displaying new books would be completed on Monday. According to Bangla Academy, 66 new titles were published on Sunday taking the total number of books published in the fair to 171 so far. The fair will remain open from 3:00pm to 9:00pm on Monday.
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