The Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) will be able to send supplies to their outlet in Sakteng, Sanam Tshongkhang only when the farm road opens to traffic.

The ongoing works on the road has stalled FCBL from being able to deliver rice to their outlet in Sakteng.

Earlier, the FCBL managed to send supplies through mule tracks but this time, even this route is inaccessible, FCBL chief executive officer (CEO) Karma Nidup said.

“The road connecting Sakteng is completely cut-off,” the CEO said. “We will restock as soon as possible when the road opens.”

The CEO also explained that their office was doing whatever it took to reach supplies to the shop at the earliest. However, the recent shortage at Sakteng, he explained was also partly a result of people panicking when the road was blocked.

With the roadblock, people started rushing to the farm shop to buy their stock. The huge rush made the shop sell rice on a first-come-first basis. However, a brawl broke out among the residents when the stock at the shop decreased.

“Our farm manager had to involve police, following which the lucky draw system was initiated,” Karma Nidup said. “Sakteng villagers were asked to draw lots.”

Those who won the lucky draws were allowed to buy a bag of rice, each weighing 25 kgs. Those who lost had to buy rice in kilograms.

Although people may not be facing shortage in their homes, they would have wanted to stock fearing the block, the CEO said. Another reason is that rice is cheaper at the FCB shop compared to other local shops.

Meanwhile, prior to the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Sakteng, FCBL had dispensed a stock of 75 bags (1,875kg) of rice, which has now exhausted to three bags. That was the last stock the corporation was able to drop.

Sakteng farm shop was opened in February this year. FCB has supplied a total of 23,275kg rice to date.

Under the government’s initiative, FCBL has opened 119 farm shops across the country. Each farm shop would have a stock worth Nu 300,000 at any point in time given the accessibility, FCBL CEO Karma Nidup said.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing