Farmers along with other civil society members of Baksa district of the state in large numbers staged a demonstration on Monday and expressed serious concern over the decision of Bhutanese government
Days after Nepal approved new map, which includes disputed territories that India also claims, and stopped all repair work of river embankments in its Bihar border, now India’s another Himalayan neighbour, Bhutan, has silently stopped releasing channel water for Indian farmers along the border in Assam.
More than 6,000 farmers hailing from 26 villages of Assam’s Baksa district were dependent on a man-made irrigation channel, locally called as “dong”, to carry water to a huge chunk of paddy fields on the Indian side of the district from Bhutan since 1953, reports South Asian Monitor.
Farmers along with other civil society members of Baksa district of the state in large numbers staged a demonstration on Monday and expressed serious concern over the decision of Bhutanese government not to release channel water to Indian farmers for irrigation purposes.
The demonstrators demanded the Indian government to take up the issue with their Bhutan counterpart and find a solution keeping the greater interest of the farmers in the district in mind.
Hundreds of farmers of Baksa district under the banner of Kalipur-Bogajuli-Kalanadi Anchalik Dong Bandh Samiti took part in the demonstration and demanded the Bhutan governments to release the required water as farmers from these villages are surviving on water released by Bhutan government for the last almost seven decades for their agriculture purposes.
Elaborating on the problem, Sewali Borgiary, one the members of the organization, said that during summer of every year farmers enter Samdrup Jongkhar along the Indo-Bhutan border and channelize the irrigation channel to carry water of Kalanadi river to the paddy fields of the Indian side of the district.
But this year, due to the Covid-19, the authorities in Bhutan government have refused the entry of Indian farmers to channelize the “dong” to carry water.
Recently, tensions with India’s northern neighbors have been flaring up on the borders along with China, Pakistan and Nepal.
Nepal also has obstructed repair work on the embankment on Lalbakeya River, in east Champaran district in Bihar, where there is no man’s land and the dam is present for 20 years.
The fresh incident comes amid the violent conflict between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh region last week, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.