Slamming reports filed by Delhi government’s Department of Food Safety that there is no pesticide or chemical residue in fruits and vegetables in the Capital’s markets, a senior lawyer appointed as amicus curiae in a PIL Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that “no results” have been achieved despite 12 affidavits being filed by the Centre and Delhi government since 2010.
“The attempts have been to pass the buck,” said the report filed by senior advocate Sanjay Jain, who said there is no coordination between various government departments. The court has now issued notice to the central ministries of agriculture, chemicals and petrochemicals, science and technology, environment, health and family welfare, as well as the department of food safety to respond to the report. “Delhi does not grow anything, everything comes from outside. There has to be coordination,” said the court.
Delhi government had filed an affidavit claiming it tested 59 samples from wholesale and retail markets between August 2013 and January 2014, but did not find pesticide residue or coloring matter in them. But Jain said the sample size was too small. The court also observed that “pan India action” is required to “educate farmers”. During arguments, advocate Sugriva Dubey, who filed the PIL, said, “Distributors inject fruits and vegetables with chemicals to speed up the ripening process and give color. Nothing is being done about that,” said Dubey. The court, which has been monitoring the issue since 2010, has asked various ministries and departments to submit their responses by March.