OMS ‘farce’ in Sunamganj; flood victims going back ‘empty-handed’

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Sunamganj : Many people were going back home empty-handed from Open Market Sale (OMS) centers in flood-hit Jagannathpur upazila as the supply was too inadequate to meet the demand.

Witnesses said thousands of people from many remote areas were coming to the upazila headquarters and standing in long queues every day just to get five Kg rice at Tk 15 per kg or five Kg flour at Tk 17, but they have to return home empty-handed despite waiting for long hours in long queues due to inadequate supply.

Visiting the spot, the UNB correspondent found thousands of people waiting in three sale centres of OMS rice in the upazila headquarters from the early hours on Saturday.

Guleshta Bibi, a 90-year-old woman, breathed a sigh of relief as she managed to buy 5 Kg rice from an OMS centre in Jagannathpur upazila on Saturday afternoon after waiting in a queue for 10 hours since early morning.

Locals said this is a mockery in the name of OMS as there is no adequate supply of rice.

Flashflood caused by heavy rainfall and onrush of water from the upstream inundated Boro paddy in vast haor areas of the country’s north-eastern region, including Sunamganj, causing huge losses to farmers.

Local people said they had not seen such food crisis in the upazila in the past 40 years.

Kanu Roy, a local OMS dealer, said they only get one ton of rice and one ton flour a day which is not enough. “We need at least five tons of rice a day to meet the demand…only an increased allocation can solve the problem.”

Contacted, Jagannathpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Masum Billah said he has sent a letter to the ministry seeking a greater allocation.

Meanwhile, many people of disaster-hit haor areas in the district have been flocking to the district town and other parts of the country in search of works.

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