Food Management Company starts supplying rice to remote GorkhaTransportation from Gorkha depot was delayed as the company didn’t invite bids on time.
The Food Management and Trading Company Limited has finally started supplying rice to the northern villages of Gorkha, five months into the current fiscal year.
The Gorkha branch of the company started transporting the subsidised rice to the Philim depot in Sirdibas from December 16. According to Shiva Sunar, information officer of the Food Management and Trading Company Limited in Gorkha, 210 quintals of Sona Mansuli rice was sent to Sirdibas in the first phase.
“Around 200 quintal rice has already reached the Philim depot while the rest will shortly reach the depot,” said Sunar, admitting the delay in transporting the rice. He said that the Food Management and Trading Company Limited planned to transport all rice meant for Philim depot as soon as possible.
The northern settlements of Gorkha including Chhekampar, Chumchet, Sirdibas, Lho, Prok, Bihi and Samagaun often reel under shortages of food. The area is yet to be connected to the road network and the local food production is insufficient. Wheat, barley, buckwheat and potato are grown in the area but the local yield is not enough for the population.
The quota of subsidised rice meant for the Philim depot in Sirdibas has been set at 3,500 quintals for the current fiscal year. According to Sunar, a total of 2,000 quintals of rice should be supplied from Gorkha depot and another 1,500 quintals from the Tanahun-based Bibalnagar depot of the Food Management Company.
“As many as 420 quintals of rice was already transported to Sirdibas from Bimalnagar depot. And the transported rice was distributed to the locals. Remaining quotas of rice will be supplied shortly,” said Sunar.
Rice transportation from Gorkha depot has been delayed as the company didn’t invite bids on time. “There is a demand for Jira Masino rice in Sirdibas. We waited for some time to receive Jira Masino rice from the centre, resulting in the delay,” said Sunar, adding that Sona Mansuli rice was transported to Sirdibas in the first phase. “We are preparing to supply Jira Masino rice in the next phase as per the demand of the local people.”
Pragati Construction Service was awarded a contract to transport the subsidised rice to Philim depot in Sirdibas for the current fiscal year. According to Kanchha Gurung, the representative of Pragati Construction, the rice is transported up to Dobhan by vehicle and mules carry it to Sirdibas from there.
The rice is sold from the Philim depot in Sirdibas for the residents of Chhekampar, Chumchet, Sirdibas, Lho, Prok, Bihi and Samagaun. Chhekampar is a one-day walk from Sirdibas while it takes two days to reach Samagaun that borders China. Stating that the Philim depot is quite far from the settlements, the residents of these remote settlements have been demanding a set of distribution centres in Namarung of Chumnubri Rural Municipality-4 and Chumling of Chumnubri-6.
The Gorkha office of the Food Management and Trading Company Limited says that it wrote to the central office requesting to set up its distribution centres at Namarung and Chumling at the request of the local people.
In the previous years, the residents of Chhekampar, Chumchet and Samagun used to buy rice and other daily essentials from the Chhekampar border point connecting Tibet. However, the border point has remained closed since the coronavirus outbreak.