Farmers from 25 Assam villages protest over Bhutan’s decision to stop water supply

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After the Bhutan government disallowed Indian farmers to channelise water from its side for irrigation, hundreds of farmers from 25 villages in Assam on Monday staged protests, India Today reported.

According to the report, amid the lock-down due to the novel corona-virus, the Bhutan government has closed all entries of outsiders to the country and said that Indian farmers will not be allowed to use irrigation channels originating from the country.

Thousands of farmers from around 25 villages under Tamulpur sub-division of Baksa district along Indo-Bhutan border are involved in the cultivation of paddy rice by using water from Bhutan’s side.

Farmers have diverted the water through the Jamfwi or dongs (irrigation channels) to their paddy fields and this process is being continued for the past several decades.

Without water from the irrigation channels, farmers downstream cannot irrigate their crops. Farmers from Baksa district are also facing problems for cultivating paddy rice this year following the Bhutanese government decision.

By demanding to resolve the problem, hundreds of farmers of 25 villages in Tamulpur sub-division, on Monday staged protests and blocked Rongia-Bhutan connecting road for several hours.

The farmers demanded the Assam government to take the issue seriously and resolve it soon.

A protesting farmer said that without water, they will face more problems.

“We had brought water to our paddy fields by making dong bandh in Bhutan side. Due to lockdown, the Bhutanese government has totally barred us to enter there. We are now facing water crisis for cultivating paddy rice. The government should have to resolve the problem soon. We will intensify our protests if our demand is not fulfilled,” the farmer was quoted as saying by the National News channel.

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