Bhutan is helping clear channels of irrigation, says Assam official refuting dispute reports

26 June, 2020 | newsx bureau

Water from Bhutan for irrigation National

Assam Chief Secretary cites boulders as reason for unusual blockade; efforts to clear channels underway.

Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna on Friday refuted media reports suggesting that Bhutan had stopped supply of irrigation water to areas in Assam and clarified that the supply was disrupted because of boulders in the channel and that the neighbouring country had actually assisted in clearing the blockage.

Speaking to ANI, Krishna said, “Bhutan shares a border with a district in Assam. There is a normal channel through which the water flows into Indian fields. The water was stopped because there were boulders in the channel.”
“The district magistrates of both the sides talked and the issue was resolved. There is no dispute with the country and to say that Bhutan has stopped the water is wrong,” added Krishna.

The Chief Secretary had also tweeted earlier that Bhutan has in fact actually helped to clear the blockage.

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“Recent media reports about Bhutan blocking water supply to India has been incorrectly reported. The actual reason being the natural blockage of informal irrigation channels into Indian fields! Bhutan has been actually helping to clear the blockage,” Krishna said.

Earlier in the day, Bhutan had termed the reports as “totally baseless” and a “distressing allegation” stating that it was a deliberate attempt by “vested interests to spread misinformation and cause misunderstanding between the friendly people of Bhutan and Assam”.

It said that the government of Bhutan will make every effort to ensure that the disruptions caused by the monsoon rains to the irrigation channels are addressed without delay.

Meanwhile, Assam chief secretary said that in the view of surging cases of COVID-19 in the State, it has been decided that a lockdown will be imposed from Sunday for two weeks.

“We have decided to impose a lockdown in Kamrup metropolitan district area of Guwahati from Sunday 7 pm for two weeks. The order will be released today. The night curfew will start from 7 am to 7 pm in the state,” Krishna told ANI.

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