Transportation of subsidised rice halted in HumlaTransportation of subsidised rice has come to a complete halt in Humla district since private airlines transporting rice to the district have stopped carrying the grain for the last three weeks.
Transportation of subsidised rice has come to a complete halt in Humla district since private airlines transporting rice to the district have stopped carrying the grain for the last three weeks.
Because of this, there is acute shortage at the Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) depots and villagers are being forced to pay exorbitant prices for foodgrains in the bazaar in Simkot. Currently, the cost of rice in the bazaar ranges from Rs 160 to Rs 250 per kg.
According to the NFC depot, starting mid-May private airlines ferry pilgrims to and fro Mansarovar, and airlines’ prioritise flying tourists over transporting essential goods to Humla. The depot said transportation of rice for the next fiscal year will only start from November onwards. This could result in the people of Humla having a tough time.
Ram Bahadur Bista, chief of the depot, said, “By the end of the fiscal year, we have to store rice in the godown, for Dashain and Tihar.”
According to the Humla-based NFC depot, they have already transported 11,000 quintals of rice into the district out of the government fixed 12,400 quintals of rice for the district this year. In addition to that, the District Food Management Committee had demanded the government provide 13,000 quintals of rice, but only additional 3,000 quintals of rice has been provided.
Locals also report the shortage of other daily essential products including other food grains and vegetables in Humla bazaar due to fewer flights delivering cargo. Vegetables too have to be airlifted to Humla from other districts since the weather was not suitable for harvest this season.
Winter crops were severely affected by the recurrent snowfall this year, locals say. Ram Chandra Budha, a native of Puma in Sarkeghad Rural Municipality, said that the harvests of wheat and other crops was not good this past winter. Loit Lama, of Simkot-4, said, “The district maybe heading towards food shortage if the government does not add more quotas of rice.”
The NFC depot has been distributing rice to the locals of Simkot Rural Municipality through ration cards. Locals of Simkot, Burause, Hildum and Syane villages are receiving rice through ration cards on monthly basis.