Bangla Academy will lengthen and widen brick walkways at the Suhrawardy Udyan section of Amar Ekushey Granthamela 2016, set up on some 5 lakh square feet of area including the academy, to ease visitors’ movement.
Besides, water will be sprayed there to reduce dust for public comfort, said Bangla Academy Director General Prof Shamsuzzaman Khan, adding that Tk 1 lakh has already been spent for the purpose.
Addressing a press conference on different aspects of the book fair at the academy, he said notices have been served to 21 publishing houses asking to explain why they moved their stalls from designated spots, a violation of the academy’s directives.
“If their answers are found unsatisfactory, we will take action against them. They may be blacklisted,” he said, declining to disclose the names.
Stating that the fair sat on a larger area compared to previous years, Prof Shamsuzzaman said, “I think this year’s book fair has become a national festival of culture and intellectuality.”
Setting up a dedicated stall for its dictionaries, the highest selling among its publications, Bangla Academy sold books worth Tk 17 lakh in the last seven days though last year it was Tk 22 lakh. He hoped sales would increase in the coming days.
He said books had become an important commodity and demand was growing for the role played in developing the cultural and education sectors and spread of culture.
Replying to a question, Prof Shamsuzzaman said Bangla Academy spent four months organising the fair.
“If publishers can organise the fair, we will welcome them. Our time will be saved and we could spend time for research.”
Meanwhile, 75 new books arrived while covers of six books were unveiled in the fair.