ISFARA, March 28, Asia-Plus -- Authorities of Kyrgyzstan’s Batken district intend to limit flow of water coming to Tajik villages.   

Speaking in an interview with Asia-Plus, Ms. Muhiba Yoqubova, the mayor of the city of Isfara, Sughd province said that they on March 26 received information that residents of the Kyrgyz border village had built a dam on the cross-border canal, which supplies water to the village of Khojai Alo and farming units in Isfara’ Chorkuh jamoat.    

According to her, she together with representatives from Isfara water economy and land committees visited the site and ordered to remove the dam because it had been built illegally.   

She added that Kyrgyz border guards came to site and leveled weapons at Tajik representatives who were unarmed.    

“The conflict was resolved after the Batken district Doston Khojayev came and promised to hold meeting with Tajik representatives,” the mayor said.   

“During a meeting that was held on March 27, I explained that the canal is under jurisdiction of the Isfara water economy department and the Kyrgyz side did not have the right carry out any work without informing us,” Ms. Yoqubova said, adding that the dam had been built in the disputable territory.  

            During the meeting, it turned out that the Kyrgyz side currently implements the Aktatyr Water-intake Facility and Main Canal Rehabilitation Project, which is financed by the World Bank.   The project provides for construction of gateway on the cross-border Mastchoi Canal that will allow Kyrgyz authorities to control the volume of water coming to villages in the Isfara district.   

Ms. Yoqubova stated that the World Bank had not had the right “to fund projects having cross-border character without informing all sides that bear relation to the project zone.”   

“The head of the Batken district admitted that actions of Kyrgyz border guards had been illegal and incorrect and promised to punish those guilty and send the examination protocol copy to the Isfara authorities,” the mayor stressed.   

According to her, implementation of the project for construction of gateway has been suspended until all the circumstances are clarified.   

“It is not the first case of illegal actions made by the Kyrgyz side,” said Ms. Yoqubova.  “On March 21, the Batken authorities allotted 2 hectares of lands belonging to Isfara’s dehqan (peasant) farm Chorkuh for establishing farm for the Kyrgyz border unit.”