<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The India International Trade Fair (ITFF) that kicked off on November 14 has always been a crowd puller, but with the redevelopment work of the exhibition centre at Pragati Maidan —the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO)— has put a cap on the people visiting the exhibition. This year the premises allotted for conducting the fair was reduced to half. While earlier the event used to be conducted across a whopping one-lakh square metre premises, this year just 50,000 square metre premises is devoted for the exhibition.Pragati Maidan is being redeveloped as Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC), at a cost of whopping Rs 2,254 crore. The organisation has set June, 2019, as the deadline for the state-of-the-art convention centre, work for which started in July this year.The 37th edition of has its main theme- ‘Startup India and Standup India’, that highlights policies, schemes, and programmes started by the Centre for them in the last three years. Vietnam is the partner country while Kyrgyzstan is be the focus nation.As part of a viable measure, not more than 60,000 tickets are being sold daily via online or at metro stations. The ITPO has instructed metro stations to stop selling tickets once the said target is achieved, same is the case for online tickets too.This move saw footfalls ranging between 40,000 to 52,000 on weekends. Surprisingly, the weekday footfalls has been comparatively higher on certain days. For instance, on Tuesday, as many as 54,000 people visited the trade fair. However, the new arrangement has not found many takers among the common man, especially those who have been left standing in long queues to buy tickets but without any luck.Traders believe a trade fair of such a large scale should not have been given such a treatment. The ITPO should have looked for an alternate venue, which could have accommodated more visitors and sellers. The stall owners said last year, the sales were hit due to demonetisation and this year again, they fear the sales going down due the visitors cap.PRAGATI MAIDAN WORKPragati Maidan is being redeveloped as Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC), at a cost of whopping Rs 2,254 crore. The organisation has set June, 2019, as the deadline for the state-of-the-art convention centre, work for which started in July this year.The ITPO should have taken more prudent measures instead of putting a cap on how many people should visit the trade fair. It’s one of the best exhibitions in the city but this its has been a hufge disappointments for sellers and visitors as well. Every day by 3pm tickets were off limits for a lot of those wishing to visit it.—Devika BhallaSo many events are held in Noida at a grand scale. The ITPO must be aware of how many people would be visiting the trade fair. They could have shifted the venue so that more people could enjoy it.—Shyam KumarFor two consecutive days we could not get any tickets. Visiting the IITF this year required a lot of planning for the sheer task of booking tickets. It was not a pleasant experience—Muskan VermaThe trade fair wasn’t attractive this year because of reduced area. Plus the inconvenience of buying tickets made it unpleasant outing. On weekends especially there was a lot of trouble in procuring tickets after a particular time.—Deepak RawatI did not take my family to the trade fair this time as there are no exciting stalls. Not a single stall from Pakistan is there. Last year, we enjoyed the Pakistani food stall a lot but this time when I heard that they have not come this time, I decided to skip it—Nainakriti AttryThe decision to curb number of visitors to Pragati Maidan is foolhardy. They should have shifted the venue to Noida and held the fair at the grand scale.—Ekta Rawat

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Speak up Delhi: Space crunch keeps visitors away from trade fair this year