The chief minister visited the Book Fair in its final evening and asked the organisers for a detailed report on the problems at Milon Mela.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee entered the fairground around 5.50pm and spent 40 minutes inside. He met Publishers and Booksellers Guild officials and visited the Paschim Banga Mandap and National Book Agency stalls. The chief minister refused to respond to questions on the blackout.
Guild general secretary Tridib Chatterjee said Bhattacharjee had sought a report on the problems at Milon Mela and assured them that the facilities would improve before the next Book Fair.
“We will try to send the report to the chief minister in another seven days or so,” said Chatterjee.
“Milon Mela is the only alternative to the Maidan but a lot needs to be done regarding the condition of the ground and the drinking water, washroom and car parking facilities,” added Chatterjee.
“We have also asked industry minister Nirupam Sen to look into the matter. He has promised us he will make sure things change for the better by next year and we have full faith in him,” added Chatterjee.
According to the guild, urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya has promised a pedestrian underpass so that visitors can enter Milon Mela without stopping traffic.
Guild officials said this edition of the fair drew more than 16 lakh visitors, 15 per cent more than last year. Sales went up by 10 per cent. Next year’s fair will be from January 25 to February 6.