Lall Bazaar partially stocked, tomatoes completely missing

GANGTOK, 06 Apr:

It has been six days since the ban on import of non-organic vegetables came into force and stalls at Lall Bazaar are yet to be fully stocked. Today, only the organic market in the bazaar had proper vegetable supplies while other stalls had the permitted non-organic produce and a few organic ones. Absolutely absent from the bazaar, both the organic market and other stalls, were tomatoes while green chillies were also in short supply.

All Sikkim Trader’s Association [ASTA] vice president, Lakpa Sherpa said today that they will wait till Sunday for arrangements to be made, after which they will start bringing in supplies, even if it is non-organic.

Members of Sikkim Chamber of Commerce [SCC] and ASTA inspected the vegetable market in Lall Bazaar this afternoon and enquired about the availability of vegetables with sellers and wholesalers of vegetables.

Mr Sherpa stated that there was not enough supply of vegetables to every shop in the market. He added that sellers brought some supply of vegetables from villages today but there is limited option for consumers.

“As SIMFED has the responsibility to supply organic vegetables in the market which it has not been able to do, so SIMFED should give us in writing that it cannot arrange for proper supplies so that we can make our own arrangements,” Mr Sherpa said.

SCC general secretary, Kailash Agarwal stated that the aim of the inspection was to assess the market situation and to know the problems and issues that vegetable shops are facing so that they can be resolved.

During the inspection they found that the vegetable shops are partially stocked and there are limited choices for buyers, he said further adding that tomatoes, green chillies, cucumber and some other items are not available in the market.

Mr Agarwal said that there is a lack of proper coordination between the traders and the government. Prior to enforcing the ban, the government should have held a meeting with the traders and found out about demand and supply of vegetables in the market in order to make adequate arrangements. He went on to add that the government should immediately hold a meeting with all concerned stakeholders on the present situation.