Bengaluru: At a time when there were reports that Bhutan had stopped water supply to farmers in India, Bhutan itself sought to clarify issue adding the reports were baseless. 

It even said it is a "deliberate attempt" by vested interests to cause misunderstanding with India.

In a statement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan, said that since June 24, 2020, there have been several news articles published in India alleging that Bhutan has blocked water channels that supply irrigation water to Indian farmers in Baksa and Udalguri districts in Assam adjoining Samdrup Jongkhar district.

“This is a distressing allegation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to clarify that the news articles are totally baseless as there is no reason why the flow of water should be stopped at this time,” it said.

“It is a deliberate attempt by vested interests to spread misinformation and cause misunderstanding between the friendly people of Bhutan and Assam,” the ministry said.

“Baksa and Udalguri Districts in Assam have been benefitting from the water sources in Bhutan for many decades and they continue to do so even during the present difficult times when we are faced with the COVID-19 pandemic,” it further added. 

The Bhutan government also added that due to the coronavirus outbreak, there were some glitches. 

“However, understanding the difficulty that would be faced by the farmers in Assam, the Samdrup Jongkhar District Officials and the general public have taken the initiative to repair the irrigation channels whenever there are problems to ensure the smooth flow of water to Assam.” 

India Today quoted Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna as saying, "Irrigation water comes to Assam from hills of Bhutan, but there were boulders on the way which stopped the flow. We talked to Bhutan and they immediately cleared the path. There's no dispute and to say that they stopped the water to Assam is wrong."