CHOCK-A-BLOCK: The Book Fair on the Maidan. The footfall and car crawl that will result in Park Circus, with the 2008 edition to be held on Park Circus Maidan, has forced educational institutions to demand a shift of venue next year. A Telegraph picture
Three schools and a college in Park Circus have come out against the choice of venue for Book Fair 2008 and demanded a shift next year.
The institutions fear their students will have a tough time getting home during the fair, to be held on the Park Circus Maidan from January 29 to February 10.
All four — Mahadevi Birla Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Don Bosco Park Circus, Tiny Tots School and Lady Brabourne College — have urged the state education department, Calcutta Municipal Corporation and police to ensure that the venue is “shifted next year.”
The worst affected will be the 3,000-odd students of Mahadevi Birla, on Darga Road, with the authorities deciding to curtail the last period by 15 minutes on the fair days.
The school, bang opposite the Park Circus Maidan, gives over at 2.30pm. “But with the fair starting at 2pm, we have decided to end classes by 2.15pm,” said a school official.
“The stretch in front is narrow and we are fearing snarls on the fair days. The school will give over a little early so the children can get some relief,” said Mahadevi Birla principal Malini Bhagat.
Don Bosco, also located opposite the fairground, gives over at 2pm. The authorities have not changed the timing, but are worried over the students’ journey back home.
On Thursday, the authorities of both Don Bosco and Mahadevi Birla met police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti and mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya and urged them to reschedule the fair timing. But their plea was turned down.
Lady Brabourne principal Sanghamitra Mukherjee has voiced her concern to Ashoke Mohan Chakraborty, the additional chief secretary in charge of higher education.
“Our classes end at 4.30pm. The students and teachers will face a problem returning home because of the snarls and traffic diversions. The venue should be shifted next year for the sake of the students,” she added.