Guwahati: Reacting to the recent massive public outrage at Baksa district of the state on the alleged stopping of an irrigation channel by the Bhutanese government, Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna has clarified that natural blockage is the actual cause behind the blockage of informal irrigation channels into Indian fields.
However, over 6,000 farmers hailing from 26 revenue villages of Baksa district demanded the state government to take initiative so that they can get water to their paddy fields on time as the channel is the only source of irrigation for their agriculture land.
“Proper communication between Bhutan and Indian government is a must. If we don’t get water now, what will happen to us this season? We have no other alternative but to this decade-old irrigation channel. Whatever be the cause, the authorities concerned should take initiative so that we get water, But, it seems that nobody is trying to understand our problem,” one of the farmers in the district regretted.
Meanwhile, in a Twitter message, Krishna said, “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.”
Farmers and other civil society members from different parts of Baksa district of the state in large numbers staged a demonstration on Monday and blocked the highway demanding water in the irrigation channel.
If we don’t get water now, there is no point to getting water later, the farmers regretted
Over 6,000 farmers hailing from more than 26 revenue villages of the district are dependent on the 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.
“Because of the blockage of the decade-old irrigation channel, it has not been able to carry water to the paddy fields for the last five days. We don’t have any other alternative of this channel for irrigation water. We need water. Otherwise, we won’t hesitate to intensify our agitation in days to come. Whatever be the reason, the authorities concerned should had taken the initiative earlier, so that we can get water for our paddy fields on time. Now, how will we get water?” one of the farmers said.
Urging the state government to take up the issue with the Bhutan government, the farmers in the district have also demanded the state government to take adequate measures so that they can get water for their paddy fields on time.