Though Bajura’s northern belt has been reeling under food crisis for the past two months, aircraft are being chartered to supply liquor instead of rice and other edibles to the district.

The government has banned transportation of liquor and tobacco-related products during the pandemic.

But, liquor is being transported to Bajura’s Kolti airport on chartered flights.

Up to seven flights are conducted to Kolti airport in a week. “Around four flights supply liquor alone”, said acting Chief Khum Prasad Poudel of Bajura Civil Aviation Office. “Liquor is flown to Kolti from Nepalgunj and Surkhet,” said Poudel.

Sita, Summit and Tara airlines are conducting flights from Nepalgunj and Surkhet to Bajura. The liquor is supplied to the local levels of Bajura, Humla and Mugu.

A local liquor trader in Kolti bazaar, Mangal Thapa, confirmed that liquor was being transported on chartered flights.

The area has been reeling under acute shortage in food items, but liquor is available everywhere, said acting administrative officer Ramdatta Neupane of Budhinanda Municipality. “We have reported to the DAO about the liquor supply,” he added.

According to the Civil Aviation Office, Kolti, Bajura, 160 flights have been conducted to Kolti airport in the past month. It is reported that more than 60 per cent flights had carried liquor.

Bajura Chief District Officer Krishna Gairhe said it was wrong to transport liquor in this way. He pledged to consult Banke and Surkhet CDOs regarding the liquor supply on chartered flights.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 2, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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