Food shortage looms as rice supply to Gorkha villages haltsThe only foot trail linking the settlements to the rest of the district got damaged by landslides two months ago.
The supply of daily essentials, including rice, to Chhekampar and Chumchet of Chum Valley in Gorkha has been disrupted after the only foot trail linking the settlements to the rest of the district got damaged by landslides two months ago.
Chum Valley is still disconnected from road networks and its residents rely on mules to carry food grains and daily essentials. Food shortage is looming large in Chhekampar and Chumchet, as the villagers are facing difficulties in bringing in daily essentials due to the disruption of the foot trail.
The Food Management and Trading Company Limited has a rice depot in Philim Sirdibas that sells subsidised rice. But it takes at least two days to carry rice to the villages on mules.
“But after a massive landslide occurred in Lokpa and obstructed the foot trail, we have been unable to bring rice from the depot,” said Tenjing Lama, a resident of Chhekampar.
Residents of Chhekampar are demanding that the authorities establish a rice depot in Namrung, as the depot of Philim is not easily accessible to them.
“Residents of northern Gorkha have been making the demand since mid-March. We have requested the central office of the Food Management and Trading Company Limited to establish a rice depot in Namrung,” said Shiva Sunar, information officer of Food Management and Trading Company Limited in Gorkha.
According to him, residents of Samagaun, Lho and Prok will also benefit from the establishment of a rice depot in Namrung.
According to the Food Management and Trading Company, efforts are underway to supply rice to the food depots in Sirdibas and Machhakhola keeping in view the shortage of food in the area.
“A tender was invited in June to transport rice to those two depots but it was cancelled after the bidders set a high rate. Process is on to invite a tender again,” said Sunar.
The Food Management and Trading Company aims to transport 500 quintals of rice to the depot in Machhakhola and 3,500 quintals to the Sirdibas-based food depot in the current fiscal year. The food depots, as per the existing legal provisions, distribute rice to the locals on the recommendation of the people’s representatives.
Crops like wheat, barley, buckwheat and potato are grown in the northern villages of Gorkha. But there is no alternative to transport subsidised rice to the area, as the local production is not enough to feed the local population.