Gangtok, Oct 2 (PTI) Sikkim Chief Minister PS Tamang on Saturday announced that packaged mineral water will be banned from January 1, 2022 in the Himalayan state, which is "blessed with natural resources that provide fresh and good quality drinking water".

Tamang, during his address here on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, also said that people, after the ban is implemented, will opt for water from natural resources, which is far 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," he stated.

The CM 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 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.