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Rain damages stalls, thousands of books at Ekushey Book Fair

  • Published at 01:44 pm February 17th, 2019
Web_Book-Fair-Rain
Books worth Tk20 lakh were damaged in the rain on February 17, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

An estimated Tk2 lakh worth of books were damaged yesterday

Unexpected heavy rainfall has flooded almost half of the book stalls at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair, damaging thousands of books, yesterday.

Dhaka witnessed around 20mm of rain yesterday morning that took commuters by surprise, leaving many stranded and drenched.

Amid sporadic rainfall and gusty wind, book stall owners rushed to the fairgrounds and found many of their stalls damaged and many books lying in puddles of water.

At the book fair, stalls keepers were running around trying to get the water off the roof of their stalls while a good number were seen trying to dry the books damaged by the rain.

Due to rain damage, a lot of the stalls were closed for repairs.

Md Khokon, sales executive of Agami Prakashani, said: “One fourth of our book collection, worth Tk20 lakh, has been damaged in the rain.”

Morshed Alam, owner of Babui Prakashani, said: “We were not expecting it to rain, so we did not take precautions.

“Around Tk40,000 worth of books in my stall have been damaged.”

Children’s corner was also flooded in the rain. Machines were being used to pump out the clogged water from the fairgrounds.

Some of the stall keepers blamed poor infrastructure for the water damage by the rain.

Books worth Tk20 lakh were damaged in the rain on February 17, 2019 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneThe publishers as well as Bangla academy authorities could not estimate the extent of losses initially, but they said it would be huge, as much as Tk1 lakh to Tk2 lakh.

A number of publishers, including Annya Prokashs’ director Sirajul Kabir Chowdhury, said that they had already sent letters to Bangla Academy informing them regarding the amount of loss they suffered.

Jalal Ahmed, member secretary of the fair organizing committee said: “We were campaigning for the last two-three days, urging publishers to take necessary steps to combat the storm,” adding that this is the reason why there was not more damage yesterday.

After the rain had passed by mid-afternoon, few visitors returned to the fair trudging through thick mud and having to look through plastic sheets covering the books on display.

At 3:30 pm yesterday, many stalls were seen drying wet books, including Adorn, Annya Prokash, Annya Rokom, Bangla Prokash, Babuy, Balaka, Bishwa Sahitya Kendra, Goddo-Poddo, Jagriti, Jatiyo Sahitya, Jonopriyo, Nalonda, Nagri, Nobo Sahitya, Sahitya Bikash, Shikor.

This year, around 770 units have been allocated to 499 publishing houses and organizations to sell and exhibit their books and publications.

There are also 24 pavilions allocated to publishing houses and 155 stalls allocated to 180 little mags.

The fair opens to visitors from 3:00pm till 8:30pm. On holidays, the fair runs from 11:00am to 8:30pm.

On February 21, however, the fair will open at 8:00am and continue till 8:30pm.