The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to state the steps it has taken so far to curb use of banned chemicals by farmers/vendors on vegetables and fruits.A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice NW Sambre said, “The government should conduct awareness camps with farmers and vendors to bring their notice to the harmful effects it has on people consuming such fruits/vegetables.”The state has been directed to file a detailed affidavit explaining what it proposes to do for increasing the number of mobile labs and kits for checking adulteration of milk and other items. On being informed that there are only four vans available throughout the state, the court said, “How will you be able to serve over 7 to 8 crore people of the city?”The direction came during the hearing of a PIL filed by NGO Citizen Circle for Social Welfare. Advocate Shehzad Naqvi, appearing for the NGO, argued that more than 20 farmers reportedly died after they made excessive use of pesticides in their farms to hasten the growth of crops.The petition also stated that fruit vendors are using several harmful chemicals for quick or artificial ripening of fruits; similarly, vegetables vendor use chemicals to give an unnatural shine/polish/fresh look to the vegetables, and it has hazardous impact on consumers.It also referred to a 2014-15 Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare on data related to pesticide use.

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Bombay High Court asks state about steps taken on banned chemicals