By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Dec 16: The fourth largest book fair in the entire North Eastern region of the country and the pride of the state, the 19th Imphal Book Fair today made the laughing stock in front of the visitors when the book racks in one of the stalls at the book fair namely the Leima Book Store, Paona Bazar crashed in just the second day since the book fair has been inaugurated.
The contracts for the construction of the stalls in the book fair were awarded to a firm named Loushan and another two individuals identified as Md Naresh and Md Nanao both of Keirang by the organizers.
Premjit Nongmeikapam, owner of the Leima Book Store, the ill fated stall while speaking to media persons declared it as a shame for the whole state in front of the various stalls from outside and others. He further declared it as an unfortunate and demeaning incident for organiser of the book fair.
Press reporters while strolling through the different stalls in the fair were unable to locate any table, chairs in the stalls.
The reporters could also identify various other unfit and defective methods in the constructions of the racks at the stalls. The foundations of the book racks were not deep enough to support the weight of the book racks, various other negligence in the construction were also construed by the use of bamboo in place of wood and nails in place of binding wire.
Seer negligence on the part of the organizers and the contractors in the construction of the stalls caused a lot of hardship to the visitors who thronged the fair for their literary needs as the gates remained close for almost an hour due to the incident.
On hearing about the incident, K Sobita, director arts & culture, government of Manipur along with a strong police team including the Imphal East SDPO came to the scene to pacify the angered stall owners.
The director arts & culture under whose jurisdiction the State Central Library falls promised to refund Rs 3000 which was deposited by the stall owners and to invalidate the bill payments for the contractors who were engaged for construction of stalls for the book fair. The stall owners further agreed to repair and alter the book racks according to their needs after their deposit amounts were refunded.
Meanwhile, the Imphal book fair which is organized by the State Central Library Imphal in collaboration with the Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation Kolkatta has been extended by a day and will end on December 25.
News courtesy: Imphal Free Press
Photo courtesy: Sangai Express