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Aim to provide 24-hour clean, safe water: Kejriwal



New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday that his aim is to provide clean and 24-hour water supply to all in the next five years.

Addressing a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) event at the IGI Stadium here, Kejriwal expressed gratitude to DJB officials for providing water in every nook and corner of the city.

He also listed down his aim to provide clean and 24-hour water supply to all, laying down sewer pipelines in every area and cleaning up river Yamuna in the next five years.

He praised the officials and said that Delhi Jal Board officials have done commendable work in the field of water and sewer in the last five years.

“When our government was formed five years back, only 58 per cent of Delhi received tap water directly from the pipelines while the rest of the city received water from the tankers. I am proud that today 93 per cent of Delhi receives water from the pipelines. The rest 7 per cent of Delhi will start receiving tap water within the next one-and-a-half years. Laying water pipelines in the whole of Delhi was a huge task for our government, the Chief Minister said.

“If water could not reach the whole of the national capital in the last 70 years, it will take many more years to reach our villages across the country. If we could provide water additionally to 35 per cent of Delhi, it means that development is possible. But DJB officials were not given a chance to work before we came to power,” he said.

He informed that out of the 1,797 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, water pipelines have been laid in 1,554 colonies, and sewer pipelines have been laid in around 1,200 colonies.

“Pipeline installation in the rest of the colonies will be done within the next one or two years,” said Kejriwal.

The 70-member Delhi Assembly will go to the polls on February 8, while the counting of votes will take place on February 11.


Choose wisely – go organic this Holi



With Holi -the festival of colours coming up — everyone is busy buying colours, ‘pichkaris’, and balloons but with increasing environment pollution and severe allergic reactions to synthetic colours, there is a growing awareness among people to opt for organic variants.

“In an approximately Rs 4,500-crore unorganised Holi colour market, the share of the organic variety is miniscule, but growing,” said Madhumita Puri, Founder and Executive Director of Avacayam Naturals, a Delhi-based manufacturer of organic colours.

The adverse effects of synthetic colours was observed in a study titled ‘The Holi Dermatoses’, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
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It found a spate in skin diseases following the spring festival in India.

In the study conducted on 42 patients in Kolkata, 11 patients suffered due to activities related to preparation of colors and 12 reported aggravation of pre-existing dermatoses.

Nearly 60 per cent patients reported itching, while others reported to have suffered from a burning sensation, scaling, redness and watering of the eyes, as per the study.

Treading on a eco-friendly and skin-friendly path, Avacayam Naturals employed differently-abled persons to make organic colours by using waste and used flowers and leaves.

This solves three purposes at one go – generates employment for the disabled, manufactures harmless eco-friendly colours, and there is optimal usage of waste flowers.

Speaking to IANS, Puri said: “For making the colours, we collect used flowers — roses, marigolds, and others — and leaves from temples, weddings, and hotels.”

Avacayam Naturals, one of the programs that Puri started under her “Trash to Cash” scheme, makes four colours: Pink from roses, yellow from yellow marigolds, orange from orange marigolds, and green from leaves.

On being asked if the colours are harmless, she said: “Rather than damaging the environment, they are beneficial as each packet of colour is made from waste flowers which otherwise would dirty the place.”

How are the colours made?
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“After the flowers are collected, the workers sort them in different baskets according to their colour. Then, the petals and seed pods are separated and cut. These are then spread out to dry in a well ventilated space for all the moisture to evaporate.

“After that, they are ground and processed — without adding any chemicals — to be made into colours for people to enjoy,” Puri said, adding that the process of collection, drying, and grinding continues throughout the year but it is only before festivals that they process them into the final product.

“In a year, we manufacture around 20 tonne of pure organic colour, some of which is sold to Walmart India. One kilo of colour is sold between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000.”

When asked about the expiry date of these colours, Puri said: “The product is a dry one and completely natural. We have been testing them since five years now and have not found any deterioration in the quality, fungal infestations, or weevils. So there is no ‘expiry date’ to them.”

Another such manufacturer is Jaipur-based Red Earth which makes colours “exclusively from edible materials and scent them with pure, traditional attars”.

Speaking to IANS, Himanshu Verma, Director-Owner of Red Earth, said: “Every 2-3 years, we change our colour palette… this year we have four colours — Sunahra Dhamaal, Shvet Abeer, Neem Sanrachna, and Gulabi Nagariya — that are inspired by local materials.”

“The colours are curated on the basis of availability of local materials. We use items like camphor, neem, mehendi, multani-mitti, geru powder, arrowroot, flour, and others,” Verma said, adding that 50-60 per cent materials used are edible so that even if someone ingests them by mistake, they will not be as harmful.

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