Bajura, October 25
Dhansir Rokaya, a resident of Himali Rural Municipality-3, Bajura, celebrated expensive Dashain after the rice at Kawadi depot ran out two months ago.
The depot is a one-day walking distance from Dhansir’s house. He said he was compelled to buy rice in the local market at Rs 90 per kg which was almost three times the normal rate. “We bought rice at Rs 37 per kg from Kawadi depot, but are compelled to buy per kg at Rs 90 in the market,” he said.
Not only Dhansir, as many as 90 families of Kotgaun celebrated an expensive Dashain after Kawadi depot ran out of rice. Another local, Hiujala Rokaya, said they feared that the upcoming Tihar festival would be as expensive for them. “We are compelled to buy not only rice but other daily essentials at inflated rates,” she added.
There is no rice in Kawadi and Dhulachaur depots for three months now. Himali Rural Municipality Chair Govinda Bahadur Malla said residents of Himali Rural Municipality celebrated Dashain amidst shortage of food. He said rice had yet to arrive although he had made frequent requests to Nepal Food Corporation, Martadi, and District Administration Office.
Himali Rural Municipality Ward-3 member Jagat Lama said there was food crisis in the rural municipality in the previous Dashain as well. “The paddy dried up due to the prolonged drought,” he added. He said the locals faced food crisis every year during the festivals and had to purchase food at inflated rates from the local market.
Meanwhile, Chief Mekhraj Ojha at Food Corporation Martadi said they were making preparations to send rice to the Kawadi Depot.
Similarly, locals at Tajakot Rural Municipality in Khatyang Rural Municipality of Mugu also faced food shortage during Dashain. Chair of Tajakot Rural Municipality said locals were compelled to buy rice at inflated rates from the market after the Shreenagar depot ran out of rice.
A version of this article appears in print on October 26, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.