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Packaged mineral water will be banned in Sikkim with effect from 1 January 2022, announced state Chief Minister PS Tamang on Saturday. 

Tamang said Sikkim is "blessed with natural resources that provide fresh and good quality drinking water". He said that after the ban, people in the Himalayan state will opt for water from natural resources, which is healthier, than that available in plastic bottles. 

"Everyone in Sikkim would now have to do away with mineral water bottles and opt for natural water resources," the CM said during his address on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

He further noted that a three-month buffer time is being given to deplete the existing stock of mineral water bottles available with business establishments. 

Tamang, who was accompanied by Governor Ganga Prasad during a cleanliness drive on the occasion, said that the state government is taking steps to stop the supply of packaged drinking water from outside. 

Notably, tourist hotspots like Lachen in North Sikkim have already banned packaged water bottles. 

"Sikkim is rich in natural water resources and all requirements for water can be met within the state through environment-friendly initiatives," the CM added. 

Sikkim was one of the first states in India to ban plastics in 1998. Since then, it has gradually been phasing out the use of plastics from the state.

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