Ranchi, Jan 19 (Agencies): City intellectuals are worried because of the poor turnout in the ongoing Book Fair, organised by the National Book Trust.

"The 9-day Fair which began on January 15 has a daily average 3,000 footfalls with negligible sale of books till today," an NBT official said.

A total of 85 stalls set up by publishers and book shop owners across the country might well expect about eight lakh visitors in a city of 13 lakh people. "But that appears to be a distant possibility despite it being a free-entry premises," the official said.

"The figure of visitors may rise in the last two days, but that would not be an ocean of people going by the current trend and in no way compensate the already incurred losses," he said.

Alarmed over the situation, several intellectuals and authors urged media to initiate a special campaign to promote reading habit among the people, especially the youth, to keep the Book Fair economically viable and maintain its annual appearance.

Those included Maithili novelists Vidyanat Jha Vidit, Siyaram Jha Saras, Hindi author Ratneswar Singh and Santhali authors K C Tudu and Digamber