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Shutdown in Nepal triggers food shortage

Publication Date : 04-05-2012


The Far-Western districts of Nepal are reeling under an acute shortage of foodstuff and other daily essentials due to a shutdown that has hit the area since Friday.

As the banda (shutdown) entered its seventh day on yesterday, the region witnessed a shortfall of food, vegetables, fuel and medicines. The hill districts of Achham, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura, Darchula and Doti are hard hit.

The districts largely import their daily essentials from Tarai districts. With transport services coming to a halt, the supply of food materials, fuel and medicines has been cut off.

Even school hostels and local units of the Nepal Army (NA) and the police are bearing the brunt of the shutdown.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Dilliraj Bista of the Far-Western Regional Police Office said he has received complaints about food scarcity from the police units throughout the region.

Chief of the Mountain Multiple Campus in Dadeldhura Sureshraj Joshi said shortage of food and fuel has affected the students. "Many students are in the middle of their exams and they have been bearing an unnecessary burden of provisioning."

Local hotels and eateries in Dadeldhura have been closed due to the shortage of food materials. In some parts of the districts, prices of food items and cooking fuel have skyrocketed.A shortage of medicines has also taken a toll on the districts. Krit Kunwar, a staff at a community hospital of Sujung in Doti, said they are likely to run out of essential medicines in two days.

Banda supporters at Kalagad in Doti yesterday vandalised three vehicles. Similarly in Siliguri in the district, demonstrators burned the effigies of 22 lawmakers representing the Far-Western districts. Normal life in Kailali and Kanchanpur, the nerve centres of protests for a ‘unified Far West’, has also been paralysed by the banda.


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