After five exclusive business days, the much talked about “India International Trade Fair-2011” finally opens for the public from this Saturday.

As the theme of the 31st edition of the annual mega trade fair's is “Indian Handicrafts: The magic ofgifted hands”, the emphasis in pavilions of 23 States and Union Territories is handicrafts. Major attractions include the SARAS Pavilion, the North-Eastern States, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Extensive arrangements have been made for convenience of a large number of visitors who are expected to come from across the country and even abroad.

According to an India Trade Promotion Organisation senior official, all precautions have been taken to ensure that no untoward incident occurs. “We are already using x-ray baggage scanners at all entry points. Scanning of bags is mandatory irrespective of the crowd. On Friday, we received 28,500 footfalls and we expect one lakh visitors on weekends. Despite the big turn-out of visitors, we will continue to scan bags at all entry points.”

Explosive detectors for anti-sabotage check, emergency lights in case of sudden power failure and CCTV cameras connected with the Central Control Room are other safety measures that ITPO has taken.

To ensure that 22 food stalls are serving hygienic cuisines, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has done a series of food tasting sessions. “The civic body has issued them licenses and the food stalls have to strictly adhere to those rules.”

Since the trade fair is held in a sprawling exhibition ground, adequate vending points for tea, coffee and ice-cream have been set up.

Park and Ride facility of buses will be operative from Ash pond (behind Raj Ghat) and Sunhari Pulia ( Dyal Singh College) to Pragati Maidan and back. Parking facilities are available at Ash pond, Delhi Zoo, Bhairon Road, Pragati Metro Station and Purana Quila. Paid parking facilities will also be available near Bhairon Mandir behind Purana Quila.

Besides, round robin buses on hop-on-hop-off service will operate from Pragati Maidan Metro Station to the exhibition ground.

Ticket sale counters have been set up at Metro Stations and Gate No.1 and 2 on Bhairon Road. They will remain open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Tickets would also be available at Metro Rail Stations.

Ambulances have beenstationed and First Aid Booths have been set up at different locations inside Pragati Maidan with the support of various hospitals and agencies.

For the fortnight-long fair, that would conclude on November 27, an adult ticket on weekends will cost Rs.60 and the price will be half for a child. But from Monday to Friday, an adult ticket will be for Rs.40 and Rs.20 for a child. Senior citizens and differently-abled will be allowed free entry. However, those accompanying them will have to purchase their tickets.

Keywords: Pragati MaidanITTF

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