Guwahati, Jan. 29: The organisers of the International Guwahati Trade Fair, one of the oldest trade expositions of the Northeast, today called for improvement of infrastructure on the stretch of National Highway 37 leading to Maniram Dewan Trade Centre at Betkuchi, to woo more visitors to the venue.
“We would like to call upon the government to improve infrastructure, including lighting and communication, on the stretch of the highway (between Basistha Chariali and Betkuchi) so that more visitors turn up at the venue. It is unfortunate that the stretch is not lit up after dusk,” Rajesh Das, secretary of the Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam (ITFAA), told reporters here today.
The association will organise the 21st edition of the fair at the trade centre from Friday.
“We had shifted the fair from the heart of the city (Judges Field) to the trade centre at Betkuchi, on the city’s outskirts, nearly 10 years back. The idea was to take it to a proper set-up that could accommodate more visitors. More importantly, fairs held at prime locations hamper free flow of traffic on arterial roads,” Das said.
The association requested the government not to distinguish between small and big fairs and allow them to be organised at Maniram Dewan Trade Centre.
“Book fairs and handloom and handicraft fairs are still being held at prime locations like Chandmari creating traffic hassles. But rules should be the same for both small and big fairs,” he said.
A voluntary social organisation, the ITFAA, which had in the past introduced sumo wrestling and Muay Thai, has come up with another attraction — American Wrestling Maniax at the 17-day fair.
“This time, four professional wrestlers from the US comprising Sonjay Dutt, an American of Indian origin, Kevin Mathews, Trent Barreta and a surprise superstar, will be taking on each other inside a ring on the premises of Maniram Dewan Trade Centre from February 5 onwards. We have taken the initiative to give the Northeast a flavour of the sport. Special passes will be made available at select outlets of the city from Saturday,” Das said.
This is for the first time people here will get to watch a live performance of wrestlers who had been associated with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling.
The exposition is being held in association with the National Small Industries Corporation.
Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal and Myanmar have confirmed participation in the fair.