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Horticulture dept bats for herbal colours on Holi

Kolkata: The state Food Processing and Horticulture department, for the first time, will promote the use and sale of herbal colour for Doljatra and Holi. Herbal colours manufactured by a self-help group (SHG), will be sold from the sales counter of the department at Mayukh Bhavan, Salt Lake and also through mobile vans at various places in the city.
"This is for the first time that we have undertaken this venture and we urge people to use them on the occasion of Doljatra and Holi. The conventional colours available in the local market are very harmful and can cause skin allergy and eye irritation. So, we have thought of promoting herbal colours," said minister for Food Processing and Horticulture department, Abdur Rezzak Mollah. Apart from the detrimental effect on the skin or the eye, the conventional colours are also responsible for causing pollution. "When a person takes bath in a river or pond after playing with the artificial colours, it pollutes the water," a senior official of the department maintained.
According to the official, the self-help group responsible for manufacturing the herbal colours, has received training from Jadavpur University, which has been involved with the manufacture of such colours for the last few years. "We will be extracting the colour from flowers and mix it with talcum powder and arrowroot to manufacture the finished product," a member of the self-help group said.
It may be mentioned that there will be four varieties of colour, extracted from rose, marigold, palash and aparajita, that will be sold from the counter of the department at Mayukh Bhavan in Salt Lake, City Centre I and II as well as some busy places in the city, including College Street, Millenium Park, Nandan, etc. from mobile vans.
The sales will begin from Friday and will continue till the day before the festival. The mobile vans will be flagged off by Mollah, from the department's head office at Mayukh Bhavan on Friday.
The price of the herbal colours has been fixed at Rs 30 per 100 grams. It has been learnt that the department has also made plans to send these herbal colours to Santiniketan, where the festival is celebrated with pomp and grandeur.

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