Famine haunts Karnali zone

Surkhet, May 15:

Famine has hit the remote hill districts of Karnali zone — Kalikot, Mugu and Dolpa — especially after the government-subsidised food grain quota has petered out. Suide by side, there is no arrangement for timely delivery to these districts.

The allotted quota of food grains in the fiscal year 2062/63 fell short and the government, as a relief measure, totted up an extra quota of 3,500 quintals for five districts of the zone during just one month — from April 14 to May 14. But even the additional quota was not adequate. Despite a supply of 1,500 quintals of food grains to Kalikot, the Food Corporation depot is empty.

Leave aside remote villages, even the district headquarters are bereft of grain supply. This year, a total of 6,800 quintals of food grains including additional supplies were sent to Kalikot. Yet, the crunch prevails, said the Food Corporation branch office, Surkhet. Manager of the Surkhet Food Corporation branch office, Lava Kumar Shrestha said unless more supplies are rushed in on a war footing, the famine can’t be mitigated.

He added that remedial measures would be taken by mobilising the internal source of the Food Corporation if the additional quota is not approved.

Dolpa too is hit by famine since the last few days. The food grain crunch cropped up after the quota allocated to the district got used up and fresh supplies could not be sent. According to officials of the Surkhet Food Corporation branch, it is touch and go for the Dolpa people as the expected 1,000 quintals of allotted food grains did not reach there. Eever since the Food Corporation dropped the road transport route — from Dang’s Tulsipur to Dolpa — in favour of airlifting food grains, supplies to the district have been irregular. Also, thanks to the recent nationwide strike food grains could not be trasported either by land or air, said branch manager Shrestha. Meanwhile, Mugu also is groaning under a food grains crunch.