‘Embezzlement’ halts ration supply

Sankhuwasabha, Sept 20:

The wait for food grains does not seem to end for the starving people of northern Sankhuwasabha.

The Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) was supposed to send 300 quintals of rice to the starvation-hit Bhotkhola area two-and-a-half-months ago. So far, it has managed to

supply only 100 quintals of rice to the area, local residents said.

A team comprising Lakpa Sangde, Wanja Bhote, Chandra Bahadur Gurung, Man Bahadur Rai and Bharat Rai had lodged a complaint at the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority 15 days ago on behalf of the starvation-hit people.

The team has accused Chief District Officer Mukunda Adhikari, contractor Puskar Udas and Khandbari chief of the Khandbari office of the NFC Om Prasad Upadhyay of distributing 200 quintals of rice meant for Bhotkhola to the people of Khandbari, Num and Matsepokhari VDC and embezzling Rs 64,000 in the process.

The complaint states that an all-party meeting had decided to send 300 quintals of rice to the Bhotkhola area two months ago, but authorities concerned have supplied only 100 quintals.

“People of the Bhotkhola have been surviving on wild fruits and roots,” said Pasang Khamba, a Nepali Congress leader.

Local residents have urged authorities concerned to supply rice by retrieving the embezzled fund.

“Action should be taken against those who embezzled funds in the name of supplying rice to the Bhotkhola area,” said a former district president of the NC, Taraman Gurung. Chinese security personnel had promised to reopen the Kimathanka checkpoint after the Beijing Olympics, but this has not happened.