Kalikot reels under food shortage

KALIKOT: People of the far-flung Kalikot district have been facing acute shortages of essential goods for the last few months. The shortage has been attributed to the dilapidated state of the Surkhet-Jumla highway.

The shortage of food is sure to hit hundreds of residents in the district during Tihar.

"Rice, lentils, flour, cooking oil, sugar and noodles are in short supply," Ratan Bahadur Shahi, vice-chairman, Kalikot Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said.

Many villagers are returning home from the district headquarters Manma without having anything to buy. Local office of Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) was closed last month, when its stock ran out.

The NFC depots at Padamghat, Thipu and Khallagadh have long remained without any supply. "Poor agricultural yield this year has added to the woes," said Kul Bahadur Shahi, former chairman, Jubidha VDC.

Dhaulagoha, Khin, Thipu, Ramnakot, Nanikot, Badalkot, Phukot, Phoimahadev, Jubitha, Rachuli and Chilkhaya VDCs are among the worst-hit.

"I couldn't buy rice, cooking oil and sugar for Tihar in Manma," said Janak Neupane, resident of Syuna-4. "I have nothing to offer my relatives this Tihar," he lamented.

Jeete, Hulma, Molpha, Khallad and Nagma villages are also hit-hard. Civil society members and businessmen have accused political parties and the district administration for the current state of affairs.