Hyderabad

No mask, no entry at Numaish

Workers readying stalls at the sprawling exhibition ground in Nampally, which will host the 81st All India Industrial Exhibition, better known as Numaish.

Workers readying stalls at the sprawling exhibition ground in Nampally, which will host the 81st All India Industrial Exhibition, better known as Numaish.

Interspersed with the classic songs of Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mukesh will be announcements of vaccination and the importance of masking up at the 81st All India Industrial Exhibition at Nampally.

As an army of workers ready the fairground for the 46-day annual carnival, students from the Vanita Mahavidyalaya troop out at the end of the day. Dozens of languages can be heard amid the sounds of hammering and hollering by the workers.

“The annual exhibition brings about ₹2,000 crore business to the city. We have stalls from every part of the country, from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu,” informs Aditya Margam, secretary of the Exhibition Society that runs the annual carnival.

The blow from COVID-19 pandemic has been a sharp one for the annual exhibition, popularly known by its Urdu moniker, Numaish. Beginning in 1938 as Numaish Masnuat-e-Mulki, this year should have been its 83rd edition. “There was no Numaish in 1947 and 1948 due to disturbances in the Nizam’s Dominion. We missed the 2021 event due to COVID. This time, we are not taking any chances,” says Mr. Margam.

Besides daily sanitisation, vaccination status of all the stall owners is being checked. There will be a strict no-mask, no-entry policy with patrolling to ensure conformity with COVID protocol. “Of the 20-acre ground that has been leased, we are using only six acres to set up the stalls. We have increased the space between stalls and widened the pathways for safety purposes,” says Mr. Margam.

The fire accident on January 30, 2019, has transformed the fairground’s safety. There is a 3-km pipeline with 81 fire hydrants that can spray water to a distance of 150 feet with three lakh litre storage capacity. The Exhibition Society hired the services of a security consultant and remodelled its premises to make it fire-proof.

Every year, over the course of a month and half, nearly 20 lakh visitors pay and pass through the turnstiles for an evening of shopping, loitering, eating and catching up with family or friends. 2022 will once again be that year of normalcy for Hyderabad, with thousands of visitors expected to turn up at Numaish scheduled to be held between January 1 and February 15.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 9:40:26 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/no-mask-no-entry-at-numaish/article38066843.ece