The 11th edition of the PlastIndia exhibition, initially scheduled to be held in New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan from 4 to 9 February 2021, has been postponed by a year and is to be held from 17 to 21 February 2022 at Pragati Maidan. A letter dated 22 August 2020 has been circulated to stakeholders by email by the Plastindia Foundation president Jigish Doshi and its National Executive Council chairman Ajay Shah.
Held at Pragati Maidan for many of its editions, the Plastindia exhibition was moved to Gandhinagar in Gujarat for the last few shows. It was to move back to New Delhi in the reconstructed Pragati Maidan in February 2021. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent health and safety reasons have been cited for the one-year postponement.
Expressing regret at the inconvenience caused by the postponement to the exhibitors and other stakeholders, the letter refers interested exhibitors to the www.plastindia.org website for participation and standard operating procedures from 1 October 2020.
Our view on the Plastindia exhibition postponement
The Plastindia exhibition had, first of all, outgrown the old Pragati Maidan. After moving to Gandhinagar, it soon outgrew that destination as well, mostly since accommodation in that new city next to Ahmedabad and in Ahmedabad was not sufficient nor suitable for an international exhibition of this scale.
In September 2020, it is impossible to see how the Covid-19 pandemic will play out in relation to printing and packaging industry exhibitions anywhere in the world, considering the problems of air travel, visas, quarantines, and constraints on large gatherings. On top of this, the Covid-19 pandemic is raging in India with over 80,000 new acknowledged cases each day.
The revamped and reconstructed Pragati Maidan promises a great deal, and notwithstanding the current high rate of Covid-19 infections in India, it should be ready for a large exhibition event by 2022. However, we still think that large exhibitions need to think beyond their current style of functioning and continuous expansion of space for adding exhibitors and visitors. There is the added issue of managing visitors in crowded halls full of running machines without proper safeguards and the use of flammable materials without the necessary safety and fire precautions.