Township’s best foot forward for Book Fair

Central Park and its adjoining areas have got spruced up ahead of the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair that began on Thursday

  • Published 7.02.19, 7:44 PM
  • Updated 7.02.19, 7:44 PM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The installation put up before last year’s Book Fair getting a fresh coat of paint on Wednesday. Sudeshna Banerjee

Central Park and its adjoining areas have got spruced up ahead of the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair that began on Thursday.

All roads leading to the fairground have got repaired. Potholes around Karunamoyee and Central Park have been filled up.

The gates of the fairground are being modified to allow smooth passage of large vehicles including fire engines, said an official of the urban development department.

There are nine gates, allowing both entry and exit. “Based on last year’s figures, we are expecting a footfall of about 80,000 on weekdays and 1-1.5 lakh in the weekends,” said Bidisha Kalita, ACP, Zone 1, Bidhannagar Commissionerate. She was taking stock of the situation on the ground on Wednesday with inspector in charge of the Bidhannagar north police station Somnath Banerjee. “Four watch towers, about 20 feet high, have been set up — one more than last year’s fair,” she added.

Four fire tenders will be stationed at the venue. The fire and emergency services department will also deploy four fire bikes to patrol the periphery. “They can gain quick access to the ground in case of an emergency.”

“One lakh drinking water pouches will be procured per day from the public health and engineering department and distributed free among visitors through May I Help You booths set up by the commissionerate. There will be eight such help desks,” Kalita said. More than 500 police personnel will be deployed every day in and around the fair.

According to the urban development department official, toilets inside the fairground have got repaired. “We have six toilet blocks inside the fairground and most of them needed urgent repairs. Some had taps missing, others had faulty doors,” said the officer. Fair-goers had complained last year that most toilets did not have working sinks and that the doors would not lock from the inside, the official added.

Fresh paver blocks have also got laid in front of the fairground and on the pavements leading to it. “Several paver blocks had either come loose or got damaged,” the official added. Paver blocks got replaced inside the ground as well. Garbage bins have been affixed to the edges of the pavements leading to the gates.

Water pipelines inside the fairground are getting repaired and a new water supply line is getting routed from the booster pumping station nearby.

Kerbstones of all the pavements, even those lining Banabitan on the opposite side, are getting a fresh coat of blue-and-white paint and signage to help outsiders with public vehicle availability and parking space have got installed.

Marigold stalks are being planted in the dividers towards the Netaji statue end of Broadway to add a colourful look.

The fair is also seeing better utilisation of space. “Last time, the ground was new to us. So some channels were too narrow while some parts of the ground looked too sparse,” said Tridib Chatterjee, general secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the organisers of the fair. Pedestrian channels therefore are wider as compared to last year. The 3.5 acre plot opposite Mayukh Bhavan that had been cleared of shanties will house more stalls than last year.

An LCD screen installed atop an entrance to the fair.
An LCD screen installed atop an entrance to the fair. Sudeshna Banerjee
The passages between stalls will be wider this time.
The passages between stalls will be wider this time. Sudeshna Banerjee
Tags
About
Author