Highway dislocation fuels shortage of essentials

Mahottari, October 15:

The supply of daily commodities in the district from eastern Nepal have been affected because

of the disruption of East-West Highway in Sunsari district. Mahottari and other adjoining districts are facing shortage of tea, fruits, biscuits, soap, medicines and other daily commodities that used to be brought from eastern Nepal.

Apart from the supply of daily commodities, the disruption of the highway has also affected business, health, transportation and education sector in the districts.

“Patients heading for treatment in BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences have been hit because of the disruption in the highway. We used to refer serious and emergency cases to the Institute in Dharan. But the patients now have no alternative but to go to Indian cities or Kathmandu for treatment. They are forced to bear extra financial burden,” Dr Rakesh Thakur, chief of District Public Health Office, said.

The transport entrepreneurs have also been facing losses because of the disruption in the highway. The transport sectors is losing Rs 1.4 million a day because of the disruption of the highway, the Janakpur Zonal Bus Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (JZBO), said. It said that the service provided by the 61 buses affiliated with the JZBO, which used to ply to Kakarbhitta, Biratnagar, Dharan and Bhadrapur from Janakpur and Jaleshwor, had been affected. “We used to serve more than 3,000 passengers a day. Now it is becoming difficult for us to furnish Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 a month as installments to banks and financial organisations that have financed our buses,” the JZBO said. It also said that the banks and financial institutions were becoming tough on the transport entrepreneurs not furnishing installments on time.

District headquarters Jaleshwor used to consume 5,000 kg tea worth Rs 1.2 million in a month. But its supply has also been affected because of the disruption in highway. The supply of noodles, soaps, biscuits, pickles and other commodities that used to come from eastern Nepal has also been affected, said Raj Kumar Shah, president of Jaleshwor Chambers of Commerce and Industry.