Rangpo, 27 April : The enforcement team has seized more than 4 metric ton vegetables at Rangpo Checkpost on
intervening night of 26 April until the early morning of 27 April. It is reported that the vegetables were smuggled
from Dhupguri in West Bengal which was laden in more than 12 to 15 goods carrier vehicles.
Speaking to The VOS the Horticulture Dept officer Mr. Passang Tamang tells that after receiving a series
of complaint from the public that that several vegetables and fruits shops are openly selling inorganic
vegetables and fruits in various parts of East Sikkim.
It may be recalled that Non-Organic vegetable ban which has been imposed since 01 April where previously
a big haul of vegetables seized from various parts of East District was dumped at Majhitar worth Rs 2
lakh and more.
In this regard when The VOS asked Mr. Tamang what would be the fate of the seized vegetables, he replied
it will be dumped at Majhitar at the same spot. He also informed that on the other side of the bridge in West
Bengal at Rangpo there are still vehicles who are waiting to seep inside who are looking opportunity,
“but we are vigilant and won’t let those stranded vehicles laden with inorganic goods come inside, we
will stringently deal with the smuggled inorganic vegetables and fruits”, he replied.
He adds, after receiving a command from higher authority that seepage of smuggled vegetables being taking
place at check post we pressed in an early hour for combing operation.
It may be recalled that this is the second time surgical attack by the enforcement authority against the
non-organic vegetables and fruits in the state within a month.
In the other side when The VOS team reached to another side of the bridge in WB where several goods carrier
vehicles were stranded since the night after the operation was initiated at Rangpo check-post, the erring driver
told the team that they have been waiting for an opportunity to take their goods inside Sikkim through
check-post. They also mention that said consignment of goods was ported from Dhupguri to Sikkim, as they
always do the same 4 or 5 times a week for supplies.
When asked what if their dream to take non-organic vegetables and fruits inside Sikkim doesn’t turn on?
The driver replied will dump them somewhere and go back! Since we will be in loss of Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 for
fuel whereas non-organic goods worth are Rs 60,000 laden in each of our vehicles.
On asking what are the items being brought, truck driver tells mainly are tamato, cabbage, cauliflowers,
ladyfingers,brinjal, carrot etc.
It may further be added here that the Sikkim Government has stringently imposed a ban to curtail selling of
consumable non-organic goods in the state however in an exclusive situation like marriage, events,
defense, funeral the import has been relaxed. Above all even if people bring for consuming privately it is relaxed
but mass trading and selling is strictly prohibited in the state throughout.
This being the 2nd surgical attack cum combing operation in the state of Sikkim against the non-organic vegetables and fruits it is assumed that more and more such steps will be intensified in days to come to completely diminish the existence of non-organic veggies and fruits.