POST TIME: 18 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Ekushey book fair
Rains ruin stalls, huge books
Weak structures are blamed
Correspondent, DU

Rains ruin stalls, huge books

(Left) Stall attendants at the Ekushey book fair attempt to dry out the books soaked by the thunderstorm yesterday, (right) Employees busy removing water in front of their stalls before the evening rush. The photos were taken from Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital yesterday. Independent Photos

The heavy rain yesterday morning took a massive toll on the stalls and damaged thousands of books at the Ekushey book fair. Book stall owners rushed to the fair premises early in the morning and found many of their stalls damaged and many books lying in puddles of water.  Even after the opening fair, many books were still soaked in water, staff of pavilions seemed drying their books on the fair premises.    

Kamruzzaman Assistant Manager of UPL Publications said the tin shades were not properly assembled and sloped. They claimed that the estimated cost the damage books could be worth Tk 10 lakh. Publishers and staff of Journeyman Books, Nalanda Publications, Bishwa Kallyanne Publications and others also blamed the fact for the damage.      

Meanwhile, Dr Jalal Ahmed, member secretary of the book fair management committee, said, “It's just a blame game for hiding their (Publication houses) faults. We allotted spaces and structure on January 23 by lottery. If they had complaints, why they didn't inform us earlier?”

Habibullah Shiraji, director of Bangla Academy, also talked on this matter at a press briefing held after 3.30pm on Academy's conference room.  He said “If they don't secure their belongings we can't take the risk for them”.  “We told them to take proper steps, keep their books on trunks,” he said adding that “We started miking from February 15 about the rainfall so they can take proper steps”.

UNB adds: Jalal Ahmed, member secretary of the book fair management committee, said the book stall owners can claim compensation from insurance companies as insurance policy was made compulsory for the stall owners this year. Jamal said the stall owners had suffered huge losses in previous years due to heavy rains. "So, the insurance policy was introduced to protect them from financial losses."

The fair will continue as usual despite the damages of some stalls, he said adding that they took prompt steps to remove the stagnant water from the fair ground. The capital experienced around 20mm of rainfall coupled with hailstorm, thunderstorm and temporary gusty wind, under the influence of seasonal low that lies over the South Bay.