Bajura, January 6
A delegation of locals from remote Bajura today submitted a memorandum to Minister for Supplies Deepak Bohora demanding establishment of rice and salt depots in the district.
“We submitted memo to the minister demanding establishment of depots as well as availability of adequate rice and salt in the district,” said Mangal Bahadur Malla, chairman of the struggle committee formed by the locals, after handing over the memorandum to Minister Bohara in Kathmandu.
They have demanded that salt and rice depots with storage capacity of at least 2,000 quintal salt and 8,000 quintal rice be set up at Kawadi of Rugin. “We had no option but to come to the capital as not even a single packet of rice has been made available even though the government had promised to build temporary sales centre at Kawadi of Rugin this fiscal,” said Bishnu Raj Pandey.
They also demanded that the government launch special plan for the region as it had been badly affected due to prolonged drought for the past three years. “Even a single packet of iodised salt is hard to get in our locality though we are ready to pay Rs 50 to Rs 70 for it,” said Pandey.
Minister Bohora assured the team that he would take special initiatives to address their concern. “I will talk to officials of Nepal Food Corporation immediately to address the crisis,” he said.
Meanwhile, the same delegation team urged Nepal Food Corporation Chief Gokul Prasad Dhital to take their demand seriously.
People reluctant to purchase rice imported from B’desh
Rice imported from Bangladesh remains unsold in food depots of far and mid-western regions.
“The locals are reluctant to purchase the rice though its price was reduced five times in the last seven months, saying it is sub-standard,” said Ganga Panta, acting chief of Nepal Food Corporation’s Seti Zonal Office.
Currently, one kg rice is sold for Rs 32 in Bajura while it costs Rs 30 in other districts. “There has been a sharp fall in the sale of rice despite price reduction,” said Panta. The rice was imported from Bangladesh for the earthquake victims. When the victims refused to consume the rice, it was supplied to remote districts.
“As much as 17,098 quintal rice from Bangladesh was supplied to Humla, Bajura, Bajhang, Darchula. But the rice remains unsold in go-downs since June last year,” said sources.
Bajura’s Kolti depot stores 5,700 quintal rice and Martadi depot 844 quintal.
Ramesh Bahadur Singh,chief at Kolti depot, said people were reluctant to purchase the rice as it was not tasty. Subsidised rice is imported to the hilly and mountainous districts of Seti and Mahakali zones.
A version of this article appears in print on January 07, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.