Neighbourhood canteens adjust to organic fare, hope veggie prices will come down

Gangtok, 09 Apr:

The State government’s ban of certain non-organic vegetables has directly affected the plates of the commoners as well as businesses and hotels engaged in food and hospitality industry.

“We have gone totally organic. Whatever the government says we are following,” said, Pintu Kumar, who runs a fast food eatery joint at Lal Bazaar.

He also added that it is still early for any conclusion or to calculate loss or profit.

Another hotelier, Leeraj Pradhan, who runs a lodge in the capital, said that the government’s decision has made an impact not just on the locals but the tourists as well.

“Over the past few days, even the tourists have grown aware of the decision and have been demanding for only organic food to be served,” he remarked.

Small canteens and eateries that serve the working class and students located along government offices and schools have also started using only organic products.

Eijaz Abdul, running an eatery near District Court in Sichey, stated that procurement of vegetable stock was very difficult in the beginning owing to the high prices. He, however, added that slowly this problem has been waning and is hopeful of continuation.

Some have also feared rise in prices of prepared food items like vegetable momos or thukpa due to this ban.

“Once the initial problem of procuring vegetables from village to market is solved, it will be easier for us to maintain prices,” shares a vegetable shop owner, Hemant Sharma.

Similarly, all the contacted eateries, canteens, hotels and restaurants in the capital unanimously held that after the ban, there has been strict implementation.

While the impact to traders and vendors have been well discussed, small canteens and eateries, which play a vital role in the daily life of many in the capital, feel their opinion should also be taken before any future step.

“Don’t forget to include our queries and suggestions,” says Binod Rai, another canteen shop owner whose family of three is dependent on this source of income.