Sikkim to be declared India's first "organic state"

15 October 2015

Sikkim will soon be declared as an "organic state", the first in the country, by next year, Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling said.

Giving details about the concept of organic state, Chamling said it is a green initiative and the concept has been prepared to make entire farming activities environmentally friendly.

He said, there will be no use of pesticides or chemical fertiliser in farming, and crop and vegetables will be grown with organic manure.

The Sikkim chief minister also said biodegradable materialswill not be used in the state as part of the organic drive.

Chamling also said that yoga will be a part of the school curriculum.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to declare Sikkim as organic state. Speaking on the occasion, the union tourism minister said that Sikkim and other northeast states are the focus area of the government for promotion of tourism in the country.

Hailing Sikkim as a peaceful state, Sharma said not a single case of communal incident has taken place in the state for long and use of police force is minimum here.

"We are proud of Sikkim and the state has great potential for tourism and the Centre is extending all help to promote northeast including Sikkim as a tourist hub,'' Sharma said.

"The ministry has allocated Rs98 crore to Sikkim for the development of tourism out of which Rs90 crore is already released," he added.

The minister said the government has extended e-visa facility to 113 countries and as a result there has been increase of about 40 per cent of foreign tourist arrivals.

The foreign exchange has also increased due to more footfalls, he said.

He also said that there is tourist helpline (1363) operational for tourists. "At present, it is available in Hindi and English languages only, but soon we will make it operational with 12 foreign languages to help tourists," he said.

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