Pous mela stall owners demonstrate before Visva Bharati VC
A section of Pous mela stall- owners demonstrated before Visva Bharati University Vice- Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and shouted 'Go back' slogans when he along with other varsity officials asked them to vacate the fair ground in Santiniketan.
Kolkata: A section of Pous mela stall- owners demonstrated before Visva Bharati University Vice- Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty and shouted 'Go back' slogans when he along with other varsity officials asked them to vacate the fair ground in Santiniketan.
The Visva Bharati authorities said in view of the earlier decision taken in a meeting between stall-owners' body 'Bolpur Byabsayee Samity' and the university, it was unanimously decided that the fair would continue till December 26.
However, as the traders refused to close down the stalls on Friday citing poor crowd due to rains on December 26, the last day and some of them tried to sell products even on Friday, the VC ordered the fair ground be locked on Saturday.
When the VC visited the fair ground on Saturday a section of the traders demonstrated before him and chanted 'Go back' slogans.
Bolpur Byabsayee Samity general secretary Sunil Sinha said as there was a slump in business at Pous Mela this year due to rains, so the stall owners wanted that they be allowed to continue business on fair ground for two more days "to make up the loss."
"However, instead of sitting for talks with us, the university authorities with the help of police and district officials ordered us to wind up business immediately," Sinha said.
Visva Bharati spokesman Anirban Sarkar blamed the stall-owners "for the adamant attitude on their part."
"There was no way the fair can be extended," he said.
'Pous Mela' began on December 24.
The fair was started in 1894 by Rabindranath Tagore's father, Maharshi Debendranath, and Visva-Bharati University has been organising it since 1951.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had asked the Visva-Bharati University authorities and the Birbhum district administration to ensure solid waste management during the Pous Mela was done in a proper manner.
The directive had been issued in view of petitions to NGT earlier this year that indiscriminate dumping of solid waste during the fair caused serious harm to environment.
The Visva Bharati had informed the NGT that there will be adequate measures to prevent solid waste dumping.