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Food prices shot up in landslide-hit Gorkha

- SUDIP KAINI, GORKHA

Sep 15, 2015-

After the trails connecting eight northern VDCs in Gorkha district were obstructed by landslides a month ago, villagers have been compelled to import food and other daily essentials via helicopters.

After the landslides blocked Budhi Gandaki river, the trail at Jagat Gaun in Sirdibash as well as the one between Kerauja Bagar and Yaru Bagar were swept away, cutting off the villages. Birup Ghale of Sirdibash said the river washed away the trails and there are no other ways. Opening new tracks, he said, is not possible with the kind of resources they have, because  landslides have brought down a large part of a cliff.

Earlier, the villagers used to ferry food and other daily supplies on mules from Aarughat. The landslides have obliterated the trails. Locals said even mules cannot travel now.

Villagers said they cannot continue importing food using helicopters. Shortage of food and essentials have already surfaced in many villages.

Prices of supplies have also skyrocketed, adding to the misery of the villagers.

Ghale said as supplies are ferried by helicopters, the local traders cannot sell them on normal rates. The price of 30kg rice has reached nearly Rs 6,000, he added.

Sarita Ghale, a local woman, said the prices of goods brought by helicopters are very expensive and many families cannot afford them. The villagers have urged the local authorities and the government to open a new track.

The obstructed trails fall along the Manaslu Conservation Area and frequently used by trekkers. After the landslides not a single trekker has visited the area, said Raj Kumar Gurung, chief of Manaslu Conservation Area Project. 

Published: 15-09-2015 08:50

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