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Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Ekushey book fair

Staff Correspondent

Bangla Academy on Monday decided not to charge any entry fee to the visitors at the month-long Ekushey Book Fair beginning Friday.

The academy, earlier, decided to charge each visitor Tk 2 as entry fee. ‘We have changed our decision following requests from different quarters,’ Bangla Academy director general Syed Mohammad Shahed said.

However, there was no entry fee at the annual event in the past. About the appeals by 40 publishers for reconsideration of stall allotment, he said, ‘Decisions on these appeals will be taken very soon.’

Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will inaugurate the fair at 3:00pm on February 1, said the director general, adding academy president Professor Harun-ur-Rashid will chair the function.

An adequate number of the RAB and police will remain deployed inside and outside the fair premises with CCTV cameras fixed at different points on the fair premises, to ensure overall security.

Suhrawardy Udyan has also been brought under the security cover and six archways with metal detectors have been set up at the two entrances to the fair. Bangla Academy sources said the work of the decoration of the fair had for the first time been given to a private firm Step Media, an event management firm. Information will be displayed digitally for the benefit of the visitors.

There will be a media centre for journalists in the fair and outside the fair there will be food stalls and sanitation facilities. The covers of all books published in a day will be displayed at one place.

There will be a stall for selling little magazines. Food stalls will be set up on both sides of the road from the Three Leaders’ Graves to Bangla Academy premises. Some 80 such stalls will be allotted.

An appeal has been made to Dhaka City Corporation to make sewerage arrangements through the Suhrawardy Udyan, sources in the academy said.

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