Prices of essentials soaring in eastern hills

Phidim, October 5

Local folks in the eastern hilly districts of the country have been facing shortage of daily essentials due to the protracted strikes called by United Democratic Madhesi Front.

Residents of Panchthar, Taplejung, Ilam, Bhojpur, Sankhuwashabha and Terahthum, among others districts, have been hit hard due to the shortage of salt, rice, cooking oil, beaten rice and others daily essentials. The vehicles en route to the hilly districts from Biratnagar and Birtamod have been parked due to lack of fuel.

Businessman Dipak Nepal of Phidim said traders were affected the most as vehicles could not ply on the road sections. Though vehicle movement has been eased at various border points, petroleum products have yet to reach the respective destinations due to the bandh, said Nepal.

“Some of the vehicles have been fleecing traders to supply goods,” he added.

Another businessman Mitra Prasad Kafle said the price of daily essentials had doubled in the local markets. The price of cooking oil is said to have increased by Rs 100 at a time when Dashain festival is fast approaching.

Kamal Thapaliya said the border blockade had badly affected the supply of not only daily essentials, but also gold items and hardware. Gold entrepreneur Lal Bahadur Rashaili said the selling and buying of gold as well as silver items had been hit hard as customers from village areas could not come to buy the goods.