Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred with the ‘Sustainable Development Leadership Award’ by President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday. He was given this award in recognition of his leadership in making the northeastern state the first and only organic state in the country. The award was presented to Chamling for his vision and leadership in environment and sustainable development leading to the establishment of Sikkim as the first and only organic state in the country, a state government release said.
The award was conferred during ‘World Sustainable Development Summit’ organised by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) here.
The state government has stopped procuring chemical fertilisers and chemical pesticides from 2004 onwards and also eliminated the existing subsidy to farmers for procurement of chemical pesticides.
Chamling has also taken various initiatives under which ban on pan masala/gutka was enforced in the state in 1995 and subsequently in 1997 an Act was passed on prohibition of throwing of non-degradable garbage in public drains and sewerage.
Sikkim as an organic state
Sikkim is the only state to have attained the official status of fully organic state in January, 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement during his visit to the state.
The state, known as the ‘Land of Flower’ with a population of around six lakhs, is now gaining popularity as fully organic state in India. Around 75,000 hectares of land has been converted into certified organic farms over the years following the guidelines as prescribed by the National Programme for Organic Production. Sikkim contributes around 80,000 million tonnes of organic production out of total 1.24 million tonnes of organic production recorded in India, the release said.