Gangtok, 07 Apr:
The State Government today ‘partially’ lifted the ban on import on non-organic vegetables after some vegetables like tomatoes, carrots and green chillies were found to be in short supply in markets across the State.
State Horticulture Department had previously assured to come up with a plan and provide sufficient supply of vegetables to shopkeepers and traders from 04 Apr onwards, however with people and traders reeling under vegetable shortage, the Government has decided to lift the ban on tomatoes, carrots and green chilies for the time being.
In a meeting held today, vendors of Gangtok have decided to wait till Sunday evening for the Department to come up with alternate arrangements to maintain supply of vegetables at reasonable rate, after which they will start bringing in supplies from outside except green leafy vegetables
All Sikkim Trader’s Association [ASTA] vice-president, Lakpa Sherpa told reporters today that they are willing to cooperate with the Government’s decision but are under ‘tremendous pressure’ from consumers due to unavailability of essential fruits and vegetables in the market.
“If the Government fails then it is our duty to make our consumers satisfied by providing them with vegetables and fruits which they want to eat even if it is non-organic,” he added.
Mr Lakpa has further criticized the State Government and the Department for focusing only on the capital and ‘ignoring’ other markets in the State like Jorethang, Nayabazaar, Gyalshing, Mangan and other small markets.
As of now, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, cauliflower, capsicum, carrot, chayote [iskus], cucumber, drumstick, lady’s finger, tomato, green-chilli and pointed gourd are missing from the markets.