India is struggling with its neighbors these days. Whether it is Nepal or Pakistan or Bangladesh or China. In all adverse circumstances, relations between Bhutan and India have remained absolutely untouched in this matter, but now everything is not looking right from here also. Just a few months ago, Bhutan decided to charge more than a thousand rupees every day from Indians who come as tourists. Now the farmers of Assam’s Baksa district are worried about the water being blocked towards Bhutan.
Now the farmers of Assam’s Baksa district are worried about the water being blocked towards Bhutan.
Due to Coronavirus, the Bhutan government has banned the entry of any outsider within the country and has stopped Indian farmers from using the water of rivers originating from Bhutan. More than 6000 farmers of more than 26 villages of Baksha district depend on this source of irrigation (locally called dong). Since 1953, local farmers have been irrigating their paddy fields with the water of rivers originating from Bhutan. However, Indian farmers are very angry after the sudden stoppage of water from Bhutan.
Civil society members, including farmers in Baksha district, also protested against it on Monday and expressed concern over the Bhutan government’s decision to withhold water. The protesters also blocked the Rongai-Bhutan road for several hours.
The protesters demanded that the central government take up the issue with the Bhutan government and try to resolve it keeping the interests of the farmers in mind.
Every year at this time local farmers enter the Samundrup Jongkhar area on the Indo-Bhutan border and irrigate the waters of the Kala River by bringing it to their fields. However, due to the corona virus epidemic this year, officials of the Bhutan government have refused to give entry to Indian farmers.
India’s relations with Bhutan have always been cordial. Every year a large number of Indians visit Bhutan. Even Indians do not need passports to visit Bhutan. However, this year the Government of Bhutan had decided that now Indian tourists will also have to pay fees like foreign tourists.