Bhutan stops releasing water to Assam farmers

After China, Pakistan and Nepal, now Bhutan has also started hassling India. Thimphu has stopped releasing channel water for irrigation along its border with India near Assam, affecting thousands of farmers in 25 villages of the region.

Sources in Guwahati said that farmers staged a protest against the blocking of water which flows from a man-made irrigation channel ‘Dong’ for growing paddy. The channel has been used by farmers of Bhutan and India in the region since 1953.

The withholding of water by the Bhutanese government is affecting people of 25 villages, sources said. Thimpu has said that the flow of the irrigation water has been stopped as part of Bhutan’s efforts to combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which originated in China’s Wuhan city in Hubei province. Bhutan has prohibited entry of foreign nationals. The Indian farmers, who use water from the channel, have been denied permission for being foreigners. Local sources said that the agitated farmers, however, argue that the water to the Dong can be channelised if all the international protocols to prevent Covid-19 are followed.