Heavy showers on Wednesday held back last-minute rush of booklovers to the Amar Ekushey Book Fair and also left stalls at the fair in a mess while some areas in Bangla Academy and at Suhrawardy Udyan were swamped.
Stall attendants were forced to shut their stalls as the rain continued unabated from noon till night, frustrating the last-minute sale publishers were looking forward to.
Representatives of a good number of stalls were found busy removing rainwater from the roofs of their stalls while water trickled inside some stalls damaging books, a number of stall representatives complained, blaming poor infrastructure provided by the fair organiser.
The fair had to close its doors to visitors at 6:00pm due to inclement weather, a Bangla Academy press release said.
Earlier, Abdul Karim, who came all the way from Mirpur with his family members was seen waiting at the teacher-student centre of Dhaka University said that they are stuck for more than two hours at the same place as the rain showed no sign of letting up.
Sirajul Islam, a Bangla College student, said that he could not came to the fair earlier due to workload though he prepared a list of what he would buy, but luck did not favour him yesterday as it was almost impossible for him to enter the fairground.
A number of publishers said that they had suffered huge losses as many of their books were damaged during the hailstorm and they have not much time left on their hands to overcome such losses as the curtain would fall on the fair in a day.
They further said that they would request the Bangla Academy to extend the fair for three days to offset the losses the storm has caused.
This year, around 770 units have been allocated to 499 publishing houses and organisations that were to sell and exhibit their books and publications.
Additionally, 24 pavilions have been also allocated to the publishing houses and 155 stalls to 180 little magazines
The stalls for the mainstream publishing houses have been placed inside Suhrawardy Udyan while government organisations and the Bangla Academy set up their stalls inside Bangla Academy compound like previous year.
If the prayer for extension remains unheeded by the authorities, today is the last day of the fair. According to the schedule, the fair is to open at 3:00pm and continue till 8:30pm.
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