VIJAYAWADA: Despite the construction of the much-hyped City Square still not getting anywhere, all decks were cleared for the Vijayawada Book Festival Society (VBFS) to host the annual book festival at the Swaraj Maidan (PWD Grounds) here. The Krishna district administration recently gave permission to VBFS to host the 28th edition of the Vijayawada Book Festival at the venue from January 1 to 11.
The ground, which hosts the annual book exhibition falls in the security zone of the Chief Minister’s camp office and the security officials have been using the ground as a parking slot for visitors’ vehicles.
Earlier, permission was denied for conducting public events citing security reasons. However, last year half of the ground was sanctioned for organisers to pitch tents for holding the event.
According to VBFS officials, every year over 300 stalls used to be set up in the city’s book fair, which is one of the largest in the country.
About 390 stalls were set up during the 26th fair in 2014. In 2015, the number of stalls reduced to 230. With this, the search for a new spot began.
In this regard, the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium and MB Stadium at Ajith Singh Nagar were initially considered, however, the IGMC Stadium was under the control of the State Government and MB Stadium at Ajith Singh Nagar was not considered because of its location on the outskirts of the city. A representation was submitted by VBFS to the district administration seeking the approval to host the event at Swaraj Maidan.
After scrutinising it this year, the district administration has asked the society to conduct the annual event on a grand scale by making use of the entire space allotted. Close to 400 stalls will be set up by various book publications and the works in this regard will commence on December 15, he added.