The Publishers and Booksellers Guild on Monday expressed hope of organising the 45th edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair in 2021, but behind its usual schedule of January-February due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The guild is in regular touch with the West Bengal government and waiting for its advice on the issue.

“We are confident of organising the book fair this year. But we can’t exactly say when due to a host of factors, including the participation of international guests.

“Countries like Britain and Russia have already enquired about the fair. Bangladesh would have been the focal theme for this edition, as we are dedicating it to ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Muzibur Rahman,” Guild President Tridib Chatterjee told PTI.

The event would be “meaningless” without its global character and cease to be part of the international calendar of book fairs in future in the absence of foreign publishers and delegates, Chatterjee said.

He also said adhering to Covid-19 protocols will be challenging as lakhs of people throng the book fair every year.

“How will we regulate the entry of such a large number of book lovers. It is not a small, district book fair but a mega event. We have to keep all these aspects in mind while planning the logistics “ he said.

In 2020, an estimated 10 lakh people visited the International Kolkata Book Fair.

The   will decide about the dates as advised by the state government, Chatterjee added.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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