Bhutan rejects reports on blocking irrigation water to Assam

Thimphu, Jun 26 (PTI):
Bhutan on Friday rejected media reports claiming that it has stopped the supply of irrigation water to farmers in Assam, terming them totally baseless and a “deliberate attempt” by vested interests to cause misunderstanding with India.
In a statement, Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that since June 24, 2020, 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.
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, it said.
It is a deliberate attempt by vested interests to spread misinformation and cause misunderstanding between the friendly people of Bhutan and Assam, the ministry said.
Bhutan’s statement came hours after Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, termed the media reports as incorrect and said that the actual reason was a natural blockage.
According to the statement issued on Facebook by Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Assam’s Baksa and Udalguri districts have been benefitting from the water sources in Bhutan for many decades and they continue to do so even during the present difficult times when we are faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Samdrup Jongkhar authorities maintain close contact with their counterparts in Baksa and Udalguri, the ministry added.

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