Far-flung districts on govt’s radar

Kathmandu, November 9:

The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies today told the Supreme Court that the government was set to launch a special plan to fight starvation in remote districts.

Submitting a written explanation to the apex court, secretary of the ministry Purusottam Ojha said the government would supply salt, sugar, clothes, fertilisers and medicines to the districts. A consumer court will also be set up, he said. “The government is pressing its

inspection officers into service to check the quality of food across the country.”

According to the ministry, the government also plans to increase the storage capacity of food godowns in the remote districts. “The government has the policy of helping the Nepal Corporation store more food,” the written explanation stated.

Seeking Supreme Court intervention to end starvation in many remote districts, advocate Prakash Mani Sharma had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on behalf of Pro-Public. People living in Taplegunj, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga, Khotang, Manang, Mustang, Rukum, Rolpa, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Humla, Jumla, Mugu, Dolpa, Kalikot, Bajhang, Bajura, Achham, Baitadi and Darchula districts have been facing acute starvation.

Stating that 44,140,13 quintals of food out of the total requirement for this fiscal — 110960 quintals —had been distributed in October, the ministry said the government was serious about tackling the problem of starvation. “Moreover, the government has special food supply programmes,” the explanation stated. The ministry said an integrated food supply programme

will be introduced in ten out of 30 remote districts.