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Vikash Sharma

The people in Odisha are already dipped in celebratory mood for Holi, which is observed in a grand manner across the State. Ahead of the festival of colours, the Commissionerate Police on Friday launched a crackdown on shops selling harmful chemical-laced colours.

The raid was part of a strategy to sensitise people and at the same time create awareness among the traders to promote and sell organic colours. The raid-cum-awareness drive was conducted by Commissionerate Police and officials of the State Pollution Board in different parts of the city.

The raid assumes much significance as it is alleged that industrial dyes and other toxic substances are used to prepare some colours. Such colours are hazardous as they can adversely affect human health.

During the raids, the joint team seized some colours which were being sold in three forms – Pastes, dry colours and wet colours (tablet forms).

“As per the directions of the High Court, raids are being conducted to create awareness among people to play safe Holi with organic colours. Be it children or adults, such chemical-laced colours are dangerous as they can cause irritation as well as some allergic reactions,” said Rebatikant Mishra, a scientist.

According to Mishra, the toxic tablet colours and other paste forms are not safe as they will have a negative impact on the eyes and other parts of the body. Such products are neither scientifically tested, nor have permission for sale, Mishra added.

A senior official of Commissionerate Police also appealed to people to play Holi with organic colours. “We have seized several samples which will be sent for examination. Subsequently, appropriate legal action will be taken against the erring traders.”  

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