The Chinese Army has reportedly forced the Jammu and Kashmir government to suspend work on the irrigation project in Leh district of Ladakh division.
Work on the project had started in 2004-05. Last month, the Chinese Army threatened the workers and officials to stop the work. However, they did not cross the line of actual control this time around.
Fearing tension, the government suspended work on the project temporarily. Under this scheme, water was to be lifted from the Indus River and released in the 3.5km long canal for irrigation purposes. Officials said the water was also to be used for pasture development because most of the people living in the area are earning their livelihood by rearing cattle.
“It (work) has been suspended not abandoned. We are trying to ascertain what actually happened. Pressure as such from China is not there but they do such things (China creates obstructions) occasionally,” said T Angchok, district development commissioner of Leh.
Angchok noted that the Chinese did not cross the line of actual control into the Indian side. “Nobody has seen them. There is no report of Chinese crossing into this side as such. Further details are being sought,” he said.
This is third time in last three years that any major development project was suspended or abandoned under Chinese pressure in Leh.
In 2010, the Chinese Army had forced the J&K government to suspend work on the passenger sheds which were being constructed near the Sino-Indo border in Demchok area in Leh district of Ladakh region. The government later reported the matter to the army guarding the Line of Actual Control with China in Ladakh.
Earlier, a road project was abandoned by the J&K government after the Chinese Army personnel objected to its construction.
Last year, Chinese troops had crossed the border and threatened the nomads who were grazing their cattle near the border. Later, they again intruded the border and left after inscribing some sentences on the rocks on the Indian side.