Guwahati: A day after several media reported that neighboruig country of Bhutan has stopped the supply of irrigation water to farmers in Assam, both Assam and Bhutan government refuted the reports.
Both the governments have termed the reports as “baseless”. Bhutan government even said that it might be a “deliberate attempt” to cause misunderstanding between the two friendly nations.
Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna in a tweet said that it has been incorrectly reported.
He said that the actual reason was the natural blockage of informal irrigation channels into Indian fields.
Krisha further added that Bhutan government has been actually trying to clear the blockage. He also shared multiple images of the cleaning drive in Bhutan side.
In the same line, Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement, said that since June 24, there have been several news articles published in India alleging that Bhutan has blocked water channels that supply irrigation water to Indian farmers in Baksa and Udalguri districts in Assam adjoining the country’s Samdrup Jongkhar district.
The ministry statement said, “This is a distressing allegation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to clarify that the news articles are totally baseless as there is no reason why the flow of water should be stopped at this time.”
As per the Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Assam’s Baksa and Udalguri districts have been benefitting from the water sources in Bhutan for many decades.
The people of Bhutan, especially those living along the borders of India, “deeply value their age-old ties of friendship and cooperation with the people of India, particularly their close neighbors across the borders in Assam and West Bengal”, it said, adding that such ties of friendship, cooperation and support must continue and be reinforced during these difficult times.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the farmers from Assam were unable to enter Bhutan to maintain the irrigation channels as was done in the past, it said.
Therefore, the Samdrup Jongkhar district officials and the general public have taken the initiative to repair the irrigation channels whenever there are problems to ensure the smooth flow of water to Assam, the statement said.