To make French more appealing to bibliographers at the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) which is to be inaugurated on 30 January at Central Park, Salt Lake, 14,000 square feet of land had been allocated for the largest ever theme pavilion in the history of the book fair but in the process, 20 stalls had to be “axed”. Kolkata book fair has France as its theme country this year.

Announcing this at a Press conference, Tridib Kumar Chatterjee, general secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, said that the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair which will be unveiled by the chief minister Mamata Banerjee on 30 January in the presence of France minister of culture and communication Francoise Nyssen, “will have 14,000 square feet of land, the biggest ever in the history of the Kolkata Book Fair” dedicated to the France pavilion and “20 stalls had to be axed in the process”.

Dwelling further, Banerjee said that the fair which was shifted to Central Park Mela ground near Kaunamoyee, Salt Lake, would be hosted on a total of 12.50 acres of land and will have 580 stalls, 20 less than last year along with stalls of 200 little magazines.

Last year, there were 600 stalls but 20 stalls had to “axed” to make way for the France pavilion, he said, adding: “Little magazine stalls were, however, spared the axe.” To make the fair ground more convenient to the commuters, “additional 175 buses will be run by the state transport department this year along with normal fleet from 31 January to 11 February”.

“The buses will run from Howrah station, Sealdah station, Ultadanga, Garia, Behala and Shyambazar to the venue,” Chatterjee said. As many as 29 countries across the globe will participate in this year’s fair and eminent authors from Russia, France, Spain, Bangladesh, Scotland, Australia will make their presence felt.