BAITADI, Jan 20: In recent days, the hilly districts of the Far Western Region have emerged as major markets for the expired goods and products. Especially, the products used during festivals like New Year, Gaura among others are sold to markets of Baitadi and other hilly districts after getting expired.
Goods of daily use such as flour, biscuits, powder milk, beaten rice, cooking oil being sold in the markets of the hilly districts are outdated. The District Administration Office (DAO) conducts raids on the markets of Baitadi time and again where such expired goods are commonly found. Such goods are widely available in the markets of Gothalapani, Shahilek, Patan among others. The lack of awareness in consumers has also increased the supply of such goods here.
An ineffective investigation, topographical difficulties, negligence of shopkeepers and lack of awareness in consumers has increased the flow of outdated goods to the hilly districts. It has been found that the dealers and shopkeepers of Tarai have been deceiving the buyers of hilly districts by selling expired goods.
Besides that, goods and clothes which have already been marked defective by the company are also sold here. "People in the hilly districts are relying on outdated and defective goods and materials since long," said Nar Bahadur Chand, chairperson of Baitadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, adding, "The hilly markets have been a place to sell expired goods." Not only the goods bought from tarai but also those brought from across the border in Indian markets are found outdated.
"It is surprising that some goods don't even have manufactured and expiry dates on them," said Prithviraj Awasthi, principal of Jagganath Multiple College. According to him, ineffective market inspection by the DAO has compelled the locals to buy inedible food at high prices. The condition is worse in the markets of rural parts. People in villages usually buy expired goods knowingly and unknowingly.
"They are not aware of the disadvantages and harms of outdated goods," said one of the representatives of INSEC.
Siddharaj Joshi, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Baitadi stressed that the supply of expired goods will be controlled if the local government starts conducting a market inspection. "Even the consumers need to be aware of their rights," said CDO Joshi. Despite confiscating outdated and damaged goods during an inspection, DAO has not taken action against anyone yet. This has also encouraged the shopkeepers to sell expired goods.