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Use organic colours this Holi, say doctors
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 11
“Use organic colours for playing Holi this year instead of the dangerous synthetic dry and wet colours available in the market to avoid health hazards,” stated Dr Vikas Bhutani, Consultant-Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, here today.

He said these colours could be prepared at home. Use ‘haldi’ mixed with flour for dry yellow colour, boiled and soaked petals of pomegranate also for yellow colour, beetroot pieces soaked in water for magenta colour, petals of flowers of Semul tesu for saffron colour, lime mixed with ‘haldi’ for a deep red colour and henna powder mixed with flour for ‘mehndi’ colour. By doing this, you could enjoy Holi and have a lot of fun and that too in a safe manner, he added.

Talking about the health risks associated with using synthetic colours, Dr Bhutani said synthetic colours — dry colours, water colours and pastes — can be very dangerous. Dry colours (or ‘gulal’) contain a number of toxic chemicals or heavy metals which have harmful effects on the skin. Lead is the most dangerous of all heavy metals found in Holi colours and can affect the nervous system, kidneys and reproductive system. Among children, it can affect the physical and mental growth and, hence, delay development. It can result in premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage or abortion in pregnant women. Other health hazards due to exposure to heavy metals include skin allergies, dermatitis, drying and chapping of the skin, skin cancer, rhinitis, asthma, pneumonia, metabolic disorder of bones and nervous system disorders.

According to Dr Arvind Sharma, Consultant Eye Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, during Holi, you need to take extra care of your eyes as the harmful chemicals and dyes in synthetic colours can not only create mild irritation in the eyes but also cause moderate to the severest possible “chemical burns”. The problem can range from mild redness and irritation in the eyes to extensive corneal damage which can lead to blindness. Wear sunglasses while playing Holi to protect your eyes. In case any colour goes into them, wash your eyes thoroughly with water.

Talking about skin and hair care during Holi, Dr K.M. Kapoor, Senior Consultant, Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, Fortis Hospital, said it was on Holi we abused our skin so liberally and allowed people to rub anything on it. To avoid skin problems, wear clothes that cover the maximum part of your body and apply cold cream on all exposed body parts along with waterproof sunscreen, he added.



Reverse foeticide trend, urges DC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Prejudice against the girl child still exist at every level. From nutrition to education to career opportunities, the girl child has been given a raw deal. This was stated by the Deputy Commissioner, Nawanshahr, Mr Krishan Kumar, at a lecture on the male-female ratio organised by the Association of British Scholars, Chandigarh chapter, here today. Stating that these biases were not related to literacy and prosperity, he maintained that the educated and prosperous were using technology to eliminate the female foetus.

He said with efforts from all sections of society and by involving people from all walks of life, the girl child can be saved and the trend could be reversed before the damage became irreparable.

"With efforts from various departments and agencies we have managed to check the falling sex ratio in the district. The campaign has yielded positive results with the public raising its voice against errant couples and nursing homes. As many as 77 villages now have more number of girls than boys in the age group of 0 to six year category," he stated.



Obesity can trigger brain stroke
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Central obesity or obesity concentrated around the waist is no longer a heart matter alone. Studies now show that it not only weighs down the heart, increasing the chances of heart attack, but also adversely affects the working of the brain, leading to a stroke in some cases.

While obesity is a crucial factor which can lead to a stroke, metabolic syndrome, also underlined by obesity and a combination of diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, is emerging as a lifestyle-related disease.

Dr Dhiraj Khurana of the Department of Neurology, PGI, says: "Till now, all these diseases which make up the metabolic syndrome were of interest to cardiologists alone but now, with evidence pointing to a relationship between stroke and obesity, the scene is changing and neurologists are interested in this area.

"Research shows that obesity can lead to deposition of fat and cholesterol in arteries, resulting in brain stroke," he says.

Maintaining that 25 to 30 per cent patients with heart attacks are prone to brain stroke, Dr Khurana said there were no statistics available to link obesity and metabolic syndrome to stroke. "We were not segregating patients coming in with stroke, just treating them for the problem. Gradually we will able to build up a data pool," he says.

Strokes don't happen suddenly but are punctuated by mini strokes which can help prevent serious complications. The key to strokes lies in educating people about its symptoms and encouraging healthy food habits along with exercise.

"There's no cure, nor shortcut. Avoiding junk food and sweating it out, however, helps. However, what is more crucial is to detect it from the many symptoms. Ironically, this goes unnoticed or is generally dismissed," he says.

A stroke is preceded by symptoms like numbness of one side of the body or face, weakness of one side of the body or face, difficulty in speaking or loss of consciousness or a combination of these.



Now play golf at night
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
City golfers can now enjoy the sport even during the twilight as three fairways — 1st, 17th and 18th — have been provided with floodlights. Former Indian cricket team Captain Kapil Dev today inaugurated the floodlights at the fairways.

The Chandigarh Golf Course is the third course in the country to have the facility of floodlights. “The total project cost to equip the GCA with the floodlights comes about Rs30 lakh. It was, however, estimated to be around Rs 75 lakh, but after negotiations, Dev Musco finally agreed to slash the cost. Moreover, the advertisement rights of the three fairways have been given to them for a period of three years,” said Dr G.S. Kochhar, chairman, media and publicity, Chandigarh Golf Club.

Talking about the technicalities involved in the new flood-lit fairways, Mr S.M.S. Sandhu, captain of the course, said: “About 7,200 luxes, a technical word to define brightness of light, have been installed at the fairways besides around 100 or 150 luxes at the tee-off spot. The green area where putting is executed will have 200 or 250 luxes.

“A total of 28 poles of lights have been erected and their height on the fairways would be 50 feet whereas 60-feet high poles have been erected in the green area and with a fixture of 103 bulbs generating 1,500 watts,” he said.

Kapil Dev said: “By this facility the CGA has upgraded itself to one of the best golf courses in the country. It would further help in promoting the sport in the region.”



Conversion rates reframed for multiplexes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
The Chandigarh Administration has reframed the scheme for the conversion of existing cinema halls into multiplexes, as per a press note here today.

The scheme provides for the conversion of existing cinema halls into multiplexes, subject to the condition that the total seating capacity of the multiple theatres shall not be more than the existing capacity of the cinema halls and shall also not be less than 75 per cent of the sanctioned seating capacity.

The scheme also provides for additional floor area ratio (FAR) up to 50 per cent of the existing FAR on the payment of conversion charges.

The converted multiplex theatres would also be allowed the facility of commercial area which shall not be more than the area under the cinema halls and projection rooms.

Cinema plots have different FARs leading to the under utilisation of land. The Administration has rationalised land utilisation of such plots, whereby each cinema hall would get a minimum FAR, leading to extra covered area. This will ensure the optimum use of land.

The extra covered area or extra FAR would be allowed at the current market rate of commercial property in the city. Under the amended scheme, all cinema plots having an area less then 1 acre can avail minimum FAR of 2.0 and those having more then 1 acre can avail minimum FAR of 1.75.

An additional FAR up to 50 per cent of the FAR availed/existing FAR shall be allowed to the extent that the maximum FAR shall not exceed 3 for plots having an area up to 1 acre and 2.625 for those having an area above 1 acre within the same height, subject to the payment of conversion charges.

The conversion charges for additional FAR were fixed in 2000. The rates of the commercial property has gone up 2.93 times from 2001 to 2005. Therefore, the conversion rates have been increased 2.93 times.

The charges would be Rs 2,344 per sq ft for area under commercial activity (for shopping purposes); Rs 1,465 for area under entertainment activity, including restaurants, Rs 1,172 for area under office usage; and Rs 293 for that under public space.


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