Hungry for food depots

Dhangadhi, November 10:

Food depots of Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) at rural areas of far western region of Nepal, which were displaced during conflict, have not yet been re-established.

At least eight food depots at Darchula, Bajhang and Achham districts have been closed while food depots at Sanfebagar of Achham have been shifted to the district headquarters Mangalsen.

Food depots at Paribagar, Khandeshwori and Sunsera of remote Darchula district were closed down due to conflict. There has been no supply of food grains in rural areas of Darchula district for the past five years ever since these depots were closed.

Rural residents of Darchula are compelled to go all the way to Dharchula in India, which can be reached after three days of walk to buy food grains.

Similarly, food depots at Deura, Batulsen and Bisauna of Bajhang have also been displaced for the last five years. These depots were closed as employees there refused to go to the depots saying they were not safe due to the conflict.

The only branch office of NFC at Chainpur of Bajhang is unable to supply food grains to the whole district, locals said.

The food depots at Kamal Bazaar, Sanfebagar and Binayak of Achham district have not been re-established yet. Sanfebagar residents have demanded re-establishment of depots at Sanfebagar, which was shifted to Mangalsen after the Maoist attack in Achham on February 19, 2002.

Presently there is a security base camp of Armed Police Force in the building, which used to be food depot in Sanfebagar. Accham residents said NFC branch office and depot at Mangalsen is unable to supply grains in whole district.

Although NFC branch office at Martadi and depot at Kolti of Bajura are operating, it has removed its depots from other hilly districts including Baitadi, Dadeldhura and Doti even before conflict. “If the depots are re-established, the employees too are ready to go back to their work stations,” acting chief of NFC Seti zonal office Indra Kamal Thapa said. He added that there was enough stock of rice in the depots and branch offices of NFC that are operating. There is stock of over 6,000 quintals of rice in the godown of Seti Zonal Office of NFC, he said.