If the main attractions at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) for you were the different state pavilions and the layout of some of the buildings, then today may be your last chance to experience it.
The Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) has proposed plans to redevelop Pragati Maidan, which includes demolishing all existing halls and pavilions, except halls seven to 12. However, ITPO plans to continue to organise the trade fair at Pragati Maidan, sans the halls and state pavilions.
The redevelopment plans of Pragati Maidan include an Integrated Exhibition cum Convention Centre (IECC) spread across 1.2 lakh square metres.
To make space for IECC, most of the state pavilions and halls will be demolished. ITPO assures states will be given ample space to exhibit their wares at future trade fairs.
The Haryana pavilion was demolished before this year’s IITF and was given a hangar space. It is also one of the longest exhibition areas at the trade fair. The Haryana pavilion was the ITPO’s way of piloting the idea of makeshift hangars for states at the trade fair, starting next year. “The success of the Haryana pavilion has given us hope,” said LC Goyal, ITPO chairman.
He said, “It is our flagship event, and is also representative of an emerging India that has great industrial prowess and a rich cultural heritage.”
So, if you were worried that the end of the buildings meant the end of the trade fair in Delhi, you can rest assured. “We will have a trade fair next year too. But yes, this is the last trade fair in this format,” said Goyal.
The first IITF was organised in 1981, and has held a permanent position in Delhi’s social calendar ever since. Scores of people from not just India, but other countries too, flock to the fair every year. This Sunday marks the end of the 36th IITF. Though the fair was off to a slow start this year, with many exhibitors raising concerns in the wake of demonetisation. However, ever since it opened up for the public the fair has been recording an increase in the number of visitors.
“Since the fair opened to the general public on 19th November, on average we have had over 1 lakh visitors every day. On weekends, in fact, it is usually around 1.5 lakhs,” said Vikas Malhotra, the General Manager of corporate communications at ITPO.
So this weekend, head to the Pragati Maidan to bid adieu to your favourite state pavilions, enjoy some music and dance, buy some local handicrafts and grab a bite of authentic local food.