The month-long "Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela 2024", the country's largest book fair, is going to begin on its traditional date of the first day of February this year.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to open the fair to be held under the auspices of Bangla Academy on its premises and Suhrawardy Udyan on February 1 at 3 pm," Member Secretary of the Amar Ekushey Book Fair Committee Dr KM Muzahidul Islam told to media.
A total of 895 stalls have been allocated to 573 organizations. Among them 786 are general stalls while 109 stalls will be dedicated to little magazine chattar, said Muzahidul.
Moreover, a total of 37 pavilions have been allocated this year. Last year, a total of 901 stalls were allocated in favour of 601 organizations.
This year, the entire work of the fair is being done by Bangla Academy alone to avoid any criticism, said Muzahidul, adding, "In the previous years, some event management companies were involved in fair arrangements which faced some criticism last year".
The preparation for the fair started soon after the end of the last fair and committees have been formulated in three-phase - committee for preparation phase, committee for inaugural ceremony and separate committees for conducting the month-long fair.
Along with cultural programmes and month-long seminars, there will be arrangements for children and teenagers which include drawing, music and recitation competitions.
Stall allotment for old and newly enlisted publications was done through a digitalized lottery system on January 23, said the organizers.
Meanwhile, besides the enlisted 601 organizations, some 70 new publications have applied to get stall allocation responding to the notice. Among them, 23 new publications got selected.