New Delhi, April 8
The Delhi High Court today asked the government to suggest measures to regulate the huge inflow of pesticide-laced vegetables, fruits and other edible items from neighbhouring states to the national Capital.
A Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said the petitioner and the government should suggest steps on how to regulate the inflow of pesticide-laced fruits and vegetables grown in neighbhouring states into Delhi.
"Is it possible to regulate the huge influx of pesticides-laced vegetables, fruits and other edible items from neighbhouring states to Delhi. Can you suggest any measures how the court could pass directions to check such items," the Bench asked the petitioner and the government.
The Bench sought the suggestions after one of the petitioners said there was no mechanism for constant monitoring of such items and there was a huge influx of such vegetables, fruits and other edible items grown in states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
Earlier on February 11, a report was submitted by amicus curiae, appointed by the court, in the case which said that many countries have banned the import of vegetables and fruits from India due to the excessive use of pesticides.
The report had said that in a number of vegetables and edible items, pesticide residue was found to be beyond permissible limits.
It had further said that despite an excessive use of pesticides in edibles sold across Delhi, little has been done to curb the menace. It also said the problem was not limited only to Delhi but a "pan-India" one.
The report had said that large quantity of vegetables and fruits sold in the national Capital contained dangerous pesticides that could cause serious health problems.
It quoted reports as saying that due to excessive usage of pesticides in fruits and vegetable here, "various countries have banned the import of Indian vegetables and fruits and many more are under scrutiny".
European Union had temporarily banned the import of famous Alphonso mangoes, brinjal, taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd, the report added.
The amicus curiae had given his report after the court on January 7 slammed the Agriculture Ministry for placing a "vague" report on its website regarding the extent of pesticides in fruits and vegetables, and asked the amicus to place his research report before the court.
One of the petitions, NGO Consumer Voice, had said the quantum of pesticides in fruits and vegetables in India, especially those sold in Delhi markets, was as much as 750 times the European standards.—PTI
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