It seems that Delhiites were waiting for the weekend to visit the India International Trade Fair (IITF). The fair opened to a packed house on Sunday as the footfall went well beyond the expectation of the organisers and crossed the cap of one lakh.
According to the available data, around 1.10 lakh people thronged the fair. The entry gates were closed many times during the day to smoothen the movement of people at Pragati Maidan.
“People started coming in the morning itself and ticket counters at Metro stations and ITPO were shut well before the official closing time,” said an ITPO official.
Officials at Metro stations said tickets were sold out early in the day. “Around 70,000 tickets at Metro stations were sold within hours after the counters opened and around 30,000 tickets were sold at ITPO counters at the venue and inside HoHo buses,” he added.
No ticket at Metro stations much before the official closing time left many disappointed. Sonam Gulati, who had come from Ghaziabad, had to return without visiting the annual fair. “My family has come from Ghaziabad and now they say the tickets have been sold,” she said.
It wasn’t only the entry points that were shut to regularise the crowd, entry to a few pavilions was also closed for some time during the day as crowds swelled inside the halls.
People had to wait in serpentine queues for their turn to enter certain pavilions like hall no 18 and 6, which house stalls of foreign countries.
“Looking at the crowds, entry points were doubled at gate number 10,” said Vikram Sehgal, general manager, security, ITPO.
Meanwhile, Metro trains and buses to Pragati Maidan ran full to their capacity and traffic jams were seen at Mathura Road and other roads connecting the venue throughout the day.