Bandh causes food, drug shortage in far-west

Dhangadhi, July 18:

A general strike called in Kailali district to pressure the government to scrap the syndicate system has crippled life in the far-western region.

The strike called by Kailali Chambers of Commerce and Industry has caused a shortage of essentials, including food grains and medicines in hilly districts of the region. KCCI called the strike on Sunday, accusing the local administration of not initiating the process to cancel the syndicate system. Bandh against the syndicate system was also organised in hilly districts of Baitadi, Doti, Achham, Dadeldhura and Bajura.

All essentials are supplied to the far-western hilly districts from Dhangadhi. Due to the strike, several villages of Achham district have been witnessing a shortage of medicines, said Krishna Shahi of Ardala bazaar, Achham.

The Sanfe bazaar of Achham has also been witnessing a shortage of essentials, Khem Kumar, a trader, said. Essentials are supplied to Mangalsen, the district headquarters of Achham, and parts of Bajura district, from Sanfe.

Assistant health worker of health post at Kuldevmandau VDC of Baitadi district Dipak Shah said most rural areas of Baitadi and Martadi, the district headquarters of Baitadi, have run out of medicine stock. Jogbudha of Dadeldhura district has also been experiencing a shortage of food grains and medicines. Jogbudha supplies essentials to Shirsha and Alital VDCs, where 40 per cent people of the district live.

The bandh has also hit rural areas in Doti and Baitadi districts. Medicines meant for Dhangadhi have been stored at godowns of transport companies, said Nanda Raj Bhatta, a medical store owner in Baitadi’s Dharmaghar.

The Kailali DAO issued a notice yesterday, calling the KCCI to withdraw the strike. The DAO termed the syndicate system illegal. The call had no effect on businessmen. All vehicles remained off the roads after a bus was vandalised in Dhangadhi today.

Meanwhile, Seti Mahakali Truck Entrepreneurs’ association today called on businessmen to reopen Dhangadhi bazaar. The closure of the bazaar was called to force the local administration to scrap the syndicate system, said president of KCCI Gopal Hamal.

Demanding cancellation of the syndicate system, Baitadi Chambers of Commerce and Industry

has called an indefinite Baitadi bazaar bandh.