KOLKATA: Construction works of booths and other necessary infrastructure for the 45th Kolkata International Book Fair at Central Park in Salt Lake will start from February 10.
The first field survey was carried out by members of the central team of the Guild of Publishers and Booksellers, which organizes the Fair on Sunday afternoon. The Book Fair will be held from February 28 to March 13.
There will be a special pavilion in the Book Fair honoring famous cultural fraternity personalities who died in the time of COVID. Besides Dilip Kumar, Birju Maharaj, Buddhadev Guha, Sankha Ghosh to name a few, Lata Mangeshkar who passed away on Sunday will also be honored through the pavilion. “We have reduced booth sizes this year so that we can provide space for some new state publishers in the Book Fair. We have decided to allow at least 600 odd stalls this year and after investigation we estimate that space could be allocated for around 8-10 more stalls. Additionally there will be less than 200 small stalls of magazines,” said Sudhansu Dey, president of the Book Publishers and Sellers Guild.
The Fair last took place two years ago in January-February 2020. In 2021, the Fair could not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. in the event of such an unfortunate incident.
Greenery in the ground has also been increased and a number of trees have grown. As Bangladesh is the theme country for this year’s Book Fair, there will be at least 45-50 booths from Bangladesh. Additional space has been allocated for the Bangladesh pavilion in the mela ground for this purpose. Last year there were 35 odd stands from Bangladesh. “There will be representation from foreign embassies located in Kolkata. Talks are ongoing in this regard,” Dey added.
With the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases, there was uncertainty about publishers from other states, coming to the Kolkata International Book Fair. But, with the situation improving across the country, publishers in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai have already confirmed their participation. Two halls will be dedicated to national publishers.