Rice in relief ‘inedible’, say Nuwakot victims

- PRAKASH ADHIKARI, Nuwakot

May 17, 2015-

Earthquake victims in Sunkhani VDC and Bidur municipality-4 have complained that the rice distributed in relief was “substandard and inedible” as the rice grains were found to be black in colour and clustered in round shapes.

The rice was distributed in the district by the World Food Programme (WFP) through Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS). The WFP has distributed 1,478 quintals of rice to the quake victims in 30 VDCs of the district.

While enraged locals vented their ire at the government, representatives of various political parties took up the issue questioning the quality of rice during a meeting of stakeholders at the District Disaster Management Committee on Sunday.

Krishna Pudasaini, an official at the District Election Office, said that the rice distributed in the district was of “low quality” but could not confirm if that was inedible.

Many of those present in the meeting claimed the rice was inedible with the exception of NRCS Programme Officer Uddhav Awasthi, who insisted that the rice was edible and posed no risk to the peoples’ well-being. Tensions flared in the meeting briefly as representative of the NRCS and local political parties argued over the issue.

Meanwhile, CPN-UML representative Buddhi Pradhan claimed that many of 50-kg rice sacks were found re-sealed, raising suspicion of irregularities at a state level.

Besides, many quake victims in the district complained that they have not received Rs 7,000 allocated by the government in relief. Although victims in Bidur municipality have received Rs 2,000, but only half the victims had been handed over the cash, the locals said.

They complained that VDC secretaries had been distributing Rs 2,000-7,000 to the victims at their own discretion taking undue advantage of the “vague” government directive regarding distribution of the cash.

Published: 18-05-2015 08:48

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