The rush towards DITF on the weekly holiday caused gridlocks in a few places near Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
Mostak Ahmed, one of the fair-goers, said, “I was stuck in the traffic for a while but I endured it because I won’t be visiting it every day.”
Some visitors said the situation will change once the fair is transferred to Purbachal area.
A relatively large number of people were seen thronging the fair and bargaining with sellers for products.
“There’re more visitors today compared to the last few days, maybe because it’s the start of the weekend ... hopefully, the numbers will keep going up in the coming days,” said Al-Amin, one of the salespersons.
The exhibitors and salespersons, in general, think the improved weather condition and weekly holiday played a key role for an increase in the number of visitors.
Abdullah Arefin, a resident of Tejgaon was seen near the Walton pavilion. “I’m planning to buy a new smartphone and I think I’ll get a good discount here,” he said.
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and Commerce Ministry have been organising the month-long annual fair since 1995.
Poor waste management
Many visitors said they left with unpleasant experiences due to the shortage of space and poor waste management.
Afsana Alam, a housewife visiting the fair with her child, complained about waste left behind by other visitors on the fairgrounds.
“The whole place is strewn with trash. There’re paper cups and food residues everywhere. Authorities should look into the issue,” she said.
Some of the visitors were disgruntled about the violation of smoking prohibition on the fair premises.
Ihsan, a private university student, said cigarettes were being sold near public toilets and the whole place is filled with smoke which is making the already unhygienic sanitary arrangement even worse.
Another hazard that is hurting the visitors’ experience is hawkers with their makeshift unauthorised stalls.
Despite being banned from the fair premises, many hawkers were seen selling various products near the boundaries. It is unclear how they entered the fairgrounds but none of them wanted to talk to the media.
Bappi, one of the visitors, said the whole situation was unfortunate. “We’re not getting any better service in the fair despite a rise in entry fees,” he said. “The authorities concerned should take steps to improve the condition.”