Bajura, November 19
It has been revealed that government subsidised salt allocated for Kawadi and Kolti depots of Bajura was sold on the way by contractors at Martadi and Dhamkane Bazaar in the district.
Salt Trading Corporation Zonal Office, Dhangadi had apparently assigned contractor Dharmanda Pandey to supply salt to the said depots. The salt was sold by the tractor suppliers in nexus with Pandey.
A businessman Prem Rokaya at Dhamkane said he had bought the salt after the tractor suppliers requested him to buy the salt for Rs 9 per kg. “I agreed to buy the salt despite knowing it was subsidised,” he said. It has been revealed that Pandey had sold the salt allocated for Martadi and Kawadi depots last year as well.
A local, Mangal Bahadur Malla at Rugin VDC, said the villagers were compelled to buy salt for Rs 60 per kg in the local markets. He said they had to walk for two days from their village to Kolti to make the purchase. Malla said stern action must be taken against the contractors who sold the salt illegally.
The locals too at Rugin, Bichhayan and Badhu VDCs had hoped to buy the subsidised salt at Rs 9 per kg. “But we are compelled to buy the salt at Rs 60 per kg as the salt has not reached the depot,” said Bachhe Bhandari of Kawadi. He said the salt was supposed to reach the depots before the festivals.
The Kawadi depot was established some two years ago targeting the locals of Bichhayan and Rugin VDCs. The depot is at a three-day walking distance from the district headquarters Martadi. Kolti depot Chief Dharma Dev Padhya said the contractors had brought only 2,226 of 4,500 quintals.
Meanwhile, Bajura Chief District Officer Bhojraj Shresha said he would investigate into the matter. “Action will be taken against the contractors if they are found guilty,” he assured.
A version of this article appears in print on November 20, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.