Daily essentials crunch hits far-west

Bajura, November 18

Life has been adversely affected due to shortage of daily essentials including life-saving drugs caused by the prolonged Madhes agitation and blockade at border points.

According to sources, people of the far-west have been facing acute crisis in the supply of daily consumables due to fuel crunch for long.

Agni Prasad Shahi of Kolti, Bajura, said they have no option but to pay Rs 200 per litre of cooking oil, which used to cost Rs 100. Despite the price hike, daily essentials, including pulses, rice, salt, oil, sugar, among other items, are in short supply.

“If on the one hand, daily consumables are hard to come by, then on the other, consumers are compelled to pay at least the double the price for any goods available,” lamented Dev Bahadur Rokaya, president of Bajura Chambers of Commerce and Industries.

Mekh Raj Ojha, chief at Nepal Food Corporation Kolti Depot, said that all rice in stock meant for emergency at the depot has run out.

Similarly, Laxmi Kumar Shrestha, medical storekeeper at regional Health Directorate Dipayal, said people were facing a hard time in most hill districts of the region. “Even paracetamol and rehydration solution are not available in the market due to the blockade at the border points and the Tarai agitation, let alone other complex drugs,” said Shrestha.

Health workers said they were compelled to send patients empty-handed after their health check-up for want of medicine. Mohan Nath, chief at District Health Office Bajura, said that all the health facilities in the district have been running without medicine of late.

Likewise, Dogadi Health Post In-charge Dil Bahadur Rawat informed that they were running their health post without medicine for common cold, fever and diarrhoea, among other diseases.

Jit Bahadur Shah, store chief at Seti Zonal Hospital Dhangadi, said the health facility was running without medicine for asthma, cold, cough and fever for days. “It is not only state-owned health facilities that are suffering from acute shortage of medicine but private health facilities too. The far-west region does not produce any drug.

“All the health facilities, both state-owned and private, have been suffering due to acute crunch of drugs,” lamented Manoj Chaudhary, a drug trader at Martadi.

Scores of people have also been suffering due to lack of transportation facilities as supply of fuel has dried up. “Though I booked a bus ticket to go to Dhangadi two days ago, I have not been able to catch a bus yet, owing to the fuel crisis,” lamented Amrita Singh of Martadi.