The last minute preparation for the upcoming book fair billed for a February 1 start is going on relentlessly at the Bangla Academy premises and the expanded Suhrawardy Udyan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the book fair while the Bangla Academy literature award will also be distributed at the opening ceremony.
Twelve personalities have been declared as recipients of the Bangla Academy Sahitya Puraskar 2017 on Saturday.
The recipients are - Mohammad Sadik and Maruful Islam (poetry), Mamun Hossain (fiction), Professor Mahbubul Haque (essay), Professor Rafiqullah Khan (research), Aminur Rahman Bhuiyan (translation), Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan and Surma Jahid (literature on Liberation War), Shakur Majid (biography and travelogue), Maloy Bhoumik (drama), Moshtak Ahmed (science, technology and environment) and Jhrana Dash Purokhayshto (juvenile literature).
Visiting the place, UNB found that the publishing companies have already started setting up stalls from Wednesday, a day after the allotment took place.
All workers were found busy completing installation of their pavilions and stalls to finish within the January 30 noon deadline. In addition, the printing presses in the city's Bangla Bazar area are now abuzz with last moment tasks of printing and binding new books.
Around 500,000 square feet of land have been allocated in Suhrawardy Udyan for an ever expanding fair venue.
In spite of some complaints against it, Nirapad Events got the job of organizing the fair this year for the second year in a row. Its proprietor Ilyas Kanchan told UNB that Nirapad Events was tasked with the job for the first time last year and he acknowledged some errors.
"But now the fair will be arranged aesthetically by correcting those errors", assured Kanchan, a popular actor.
This year, 23 publications are getting pavilions. Apart from this, there will be two separate pavilions in the two parts of the fair for Bangla Academy | Focus Bangla
A total of 329 publication companies have been allotted 572 units which are now getting their stalls ready with some specified for children as part of the children's corner.
Member Secretary of the fair and Bangla Academy director Jalal Ahmed told UNB that the preparations for the fair are now progressing rapidly as the publishing companies have been given the stall position after a lottery. They will have to finish setting up of their stalls by January 30.
President of the Knowledge and Creative Publisher Association Majharul Islam said: "The fair will be the best of all time if 70% of the Bangla Academy plan works properly.”
He also expressed satisfaction over the arrangement of the fair.
Mentioning tight security arrangements in the book fair, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said recently: "If a writer and publisher need special security, security arrangement will be provided to them. The books that hurt religious, social and national values will not be allowed in fair, the Bangla Academy will check it out."
There will be adequate number of police inside and outside the book fair while the entire fair venue and the surrounding area will be monitored with the CCTV cameras.
Police and motorcycle petrol will be present to prevent eve teasing and untoward incidents. Alongside watch tower, fire extinguisher and primary medical aids will be there for public safety.
DMP will arrange separate gates for entry and exit in the fair with every visitor going through metal detector scan through archways.
The fairs will remain open every day from 3pm to 8:30pm, except for holidays. It will remain open on holidays from 11am to 8pm and the fair will run from 8am to 9pm on the International Mother Language Day – February 21.
There will be a three day international literary conference, month-long seminars, and cultural events etc.