Jammu, Jun 09: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, while issuing notice to the State Government, directed it to file status report with regard to artificial ripening of fruits with toxic chemicals like Calcium Carbide in J&K.
Acting on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Human Right Organization- Voice for Rights, Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court at Jammu comprising of Justice Alok Araadhe and Justice Sanjeev Shukla after hearing the Chairperson, Voice for Rights-Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat at length who appeared in person for the NGO, directed the State to file status report before the High Court at Jammu as to what steps they have taken in curbing the practise of artificial ripening of fruits with calcium carbide.
The NGO has relied upon the reports published in local newspapers regarding use of hazardous toxic chemicals like calcium carbide for artificial ripening of fruits like papaya, mangoes, chiku etc in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The State has miserably failed in setting up of the mechanism to check the menace which is violating the very fundamental right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir i.e. Right to Live a Healthy and Dignified Life provided under the Constitution of India.
The PIL has also prayed for the setting up of the mechanism as mandated under the Food Safety Standards Act to check the quality of vegetables and other food items imported to the State of Jammu and Kashmir laced with impermissible residues of pesticides/ toxic chemicals at Lakhanpur Toll Plaza, Cross LoC Trade Centers at Chakkan Da Bagh Poonch and Aman Setu Uri.
Before approaching High Court at Jammu, the NGO has approached the Stake Holders by way of sending a representation highlighting the issue and making submissions to ban the use of calcium carbide and other toxic chemicals in ripening of fruits i.e.
It was on their failure to ban the use of toxic chemicals and setting up of mechanism to regularly check the quality of vegetables and other food items brought to the State by the other parts of the Country and LoC trade Centres, the NGO was compelled to approach the High Court for Seeking immediate ban on the use of toxic chemicals like Calcium carbide for the ripening of fruits in Jammu and Kashmir which is being rampantly used now-a-days by fruit traders here in our State (Jammu and Kashmir) without any or minimal check.
The PIL prayed for permanent government mechanism at for checking up the residues of impermissible/ toxic chemicals/ pesticides in fruits and vegetables being imported from Punjab, other parts of the Country and outside the country including Pakistan, implement the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 to curb the artificial repining of fruits using Calcium Carbide and other toxic chemicals which are hazardous to the health of residents of Jammu and Kashmir. (KNS)