GANGTOK: The Sikkim government has decided to designate enforcement officers to carry out seizure and disposal of non-organic and horticultural commodities banned in the Himalayan state, a notification issued by the state government has said.
The state has banned the entry of non-organic fruits and vegetables in the state from April 1.
The notification issued by SK Pradhan, Protocol Officer, Home Department, said " The state government shall designate such number of persons as it thinks fit to be enforcement officers to carry out seizure and disposal of non -organic agricultural and horticultural commodities with effect from April 1, 2018.
" The notification, issued on March 31, 2018, was released in public domain yesterday.
The Pawan Kumar Chamling government had earlier issued a notification on March 10, 2018, banning sale of 27 non-organic agricultural and horticultural commodities from April 1, 2018.
The chief minister had on several occasions defended the move to ban the sale of non-organic agricultural and horticultural commodities in Sikkim in view of health hazards to the people and environment.
He had also said that there would be a shortage of vegetables in the early days of enforcement of the ban on non-organic food items and urged the people to bear with difficulties in the larger interests of the state and its people.
The thrust on organic farming and consumption of organic food will boost the economy and income of farmers, he had said.
Meanwhile, the state unit BJP president DB Chauhan has backed the state government's spirit to go organic, but criticised the manner of enforcing the ban.
"It has been implemented in a hasty manner without making alternative arrangement for supply of required quantity of vegetables and other food items," he said after interacting with the vegetable vendors and retailers whose livelihood has been hit by the ban.
The state government should have encouraged consumption of organic food, but left it to the people whether they wanted to consume non-organic food items instead of creating an artificial shortage at once, he said.
Chauhan claimed that it was impossible to meet the demand for vegetables and other food items by cultivating locally through organic farming as Sikkim has only 12 per cent of its land mass fit for farming.
"We, however, will have to fall in line and stop selling the banned agricultural and horticultural commodities," a vegetable vendor said on the condition of anonymity.