China 'forces' J&K govt to suspend Leh irrigation project

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Srinagar, Aug 20: The Chinese Army has allegedly asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to suspend work on an irrigation project in Leh district of Ladakh. The Chinese have threatened the officials and workers to stop work on the project which had started in 2004-05. The army though did not violate the LAC (Line of Actual Control) this time.

An apprehensive state government stopped the work temporarily. Under this project, water was to be transferred from the Indus River into a 3.5 km-long irrigation canal. Government officials said the river water was also supposed to be used for developing pastures to help the local people, who earn a livelihood by rearing cattle.

An official from Leh said the project was only temporarily suspended and not abandoned. He said the authorities were trying to find out what had exactly happened. There was no such pressure from China but they create such problems occasionally, he added.

The latest incident is the third time in three years that a major development project was stopped in Leh under Chinese pressure. In 2010, the state government was forced to suspend construction of passenger sheds near the international border at Demchok in Leh district. The government later reported the matter to the Indian Army guarding the LAC in Ladakh.

Another road project was abandoned by the state government after China's strong objection.

Last year, Chinese soldiers crossed the border and threatened cattle grazers. They intruded once again and left inscriptions on rocks on the Indian side.

OneIndia News

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