Ahead of the festival of Holi to be celebrated on March 21 this year, shops selling colours and water guns have started coming up in the market places of Dehradun.
As in the past years, the colours in the market range from those made from chemicals to organic colours. However, due to factors like the imminent Lok Sabha elections and intermittent spells of rain, the number of shops and stalls selling colours and other Holi related products are few compared to the previous year.
Abhishek Aggarwal owner of a shop at Hanuman Chowk said that the price of colours starts from Rs 70 per kilogramme to Rs 260 per kilogramme depending on the quality of the product. While the chemical based colours are comparatively cheap, the organic colours said to be chemical-free are costlier at up to Rs 260 per kilogramme.
The shopkeepers are also selling smaller packs of colours for Rs 5to Rs 10 a pack. Colour spray is being sold at prices ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 350 a bottle in varied colours, quantity and quality.
Water guns are being offered at prices ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 1,000. The water guns come in different shapes and designs and are based on character ranging from popular cartoon characters to deities like lord Ganesh.
Apart from the colours and water guns, aids for making traditional sweets like Gujiya are also being displayed in shops for sale. Plastic moulds for shaping Gujiyas are being sold for Rs 50 for a dozen in the wholesale market.
Meanwhile, observers point out that though much is said about organic colours and a chemical-free Holi, as in past years, chemical based colours will sell more than organic colours.
Further, if the scientific fraternity is to be believed, even the colours sold in the market as organic colours are not garaunteed to be actually organic and chemical-free. As the festival of colours-Holi approaches near amidst election fever, it remains to be seen as to whether the citizens will actually opt for organic colours this time.