Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has not ceased to create history as Sikkim is now widely known as India’s first organic state and to keep up with this, the State Government has already initiated a move to curb non-organic vegetables and fruits from April 1 wherein no-one will be allowed to sell them or import whichever (vegetables and fruits) are listed as banned in official listing.
In view of this, huge quantities of seized non-organic items lifted from market of capital Gangtok and elsewhere places of state by enforcement team were dumped in a huge pit at Majhitar in Rangpo sub-division assisted by Dept of Horticulture officials. Nearly Rs 2.5 lakh market worth non-organic vegetables and fruits seized from Gangtok as well as unaccounted worth of same seized from rest parts of State markets were disposed off.
The state officials disposed of non-organic vegetables it had seized from markets in Gangtok . The vegetables seized from different shops were worth over Rs 250,000 (€3,000). They were then buried at Majhitar in East Sikkim. While a ban on the import of non-organic vegetables from outside Sikkim has been in place since 1 April, markets across the state have witnessed an acute shortage of vegetables and fruits.
The Government later eased the ban and allowed supply of tomato, chilli and carrots from outside. However, after the government failed to supply adequate organic produce to the markets, traders in Gangtok had said they would import all the vegetables and fruits that were in short supply in the state.
An opposition political party, Sikkim United Front (SUF), condemned the government’s policies, its decision to destroy the vegetables and said that the move was “inhuman and inappropriate, at a time when people in different parts of the country are dying of hunger.”
“Sikkim has been suffering from the wrong decisions and policies of the state government in the organic mission. The decision to ban non-organic vegetables lacks farsightedness and it is not in the interest of the people of Sikkim,” SUF founder member Tirtha Sharma told a press conference here.
The people have the right to have food of their choice. “If the state government is really serious, it should ban casinos, alcohol and lotteries, which have been directly affecting the people of Sikkim,” Sharma said.
According to Sharma, the state had been facing the present problem due to the wrong figures of organic production in the state provided by officials concerned to the government.
Krishi Jagran/New Delhi