The Hush Post: Some Indian villages in Byas Valley of Uttarakhand are dependent on China for their ration.
They procure the basic food necessities like salt, cooking oil, rice, pulses and wheat from China. These food items reach their village through Nepal. However, the villagers also allege that the ration quota provided is not enough for their needs.
The residents are now demanding extra ration from the government. They say they are living like orphans in their own country. “We are living as orphans in our own country although we are situated in an important border area with two neighbouring countries,” the Times of India said quoting a resident.
Bundi, Gunji, Kuti, Nabhi, Napalchu, Garbyang and Ronkong are the seven villages buying daily ration from China. The ration reaches them through Nepal.
The road was blocked for months near the Lipulekh pass this year. Thus the villagers did not get ration supply in enough quantity. The Lipulekh pass connects the area with the rest of the district.
The nearest market to the village is about 50 km away in Dharchula. Due to the blocked roads, the supplies have been irregular. The villagers say that the “massive effort” is required to transport the food items on mules and porters.
The government provides only 2 kgs of rice and 5 kgs of wheat per family under the PDS system. However, this is not enough, the villagers say. They are often forced to purchase daily goods from Tinkar and Changru villages of Nepal. These Nepalese residents source these items from the Taklakot bazaar in China.
The Chinese goods are “less costly than those they get at the marketplace in Dharchula,” the villagers say. He also added that the transport cost adds to the price of the food items. “A salt packet for Rs 30 or 40 reaches us at a price of Rs 70,” says Nabiyal, a resident of the Byas valley.