Man­dalay port de­vel­op­ment project to take off early next year

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - KYAW KO KO kyawkoko@mm­times.com

WORK on the de­vel­op­ment of Man­dalay Port is set to be­gin early next year, says the Direc­torate of Wa­ter Re­sources and Improve­ment of River Sys­tems.

The project, which is aimed at im­prov­ing trade and tran­spor­ta­tion along in­land wa­ter­ways, will be im­ple­mented with the help of the Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (JICA) un­der an agree­ment signed on Oc­to­ber 3, U Aung Myo Khaing, di­rec­tor of the direc­torate, said.

“At present, there is no modern port on the Aye­yarwady River. When the project is com­pleted, the flow of goods and pas­sen­gers along the river will be greatly im­proved thanks to bet­ter port fa­cil­i­ties and con­tainer han­dling sys­tems. This in turn will lower the tran­spor­ta­tion cost of goods,” U Aung Myo Khaing said.

The project will be built on 8.1 hectares of land lo­cated one kilo­me­tre west of Man­dalay city, be­hind the city’s cir­cu­lar road and Shwe Lone Bo Monastery.

Ten­ders will be called in Ja­pan for the con­struc­tion and pur­chas­ing of ma­chin­ery next month. Myan­mar will sup­ply elec­tric­ity to the site, clear land, and help in other work.

The direc­torate has con­ducted sur­veys of the farms presently lo­cated at the site so that the land can be ac­quired and com­pen­sa­tion paid, he added.

“When we first con­ducted the sur­veys, there were three orig­i­nal own­ers, but now the land has been in­cluded in the Amara­pura Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Project, so its own­er­ship has been con­sol­i­dated. We’ve cal­cu­lated the com­pen­sa­tion needed to buy the land, and once the ten­der process is com­pleted, we can be­gin con­struc­tion,” he said.

JICA is pro­vid­ing US$53.8 mil­lion (K837 bil­lion) in fund­ing, while the Myan­mar gov­ern­ment is con­tribut­ing K82.96 bil­lion to the project, which en­vi­sions a new port with con­tainer stor­age, cargo ware­houses, pier bridges, ap­proach bridges, and cargo-han­dling ma­chin­ery.

Man­dalay is a strate­gic city for trans­port and is just 450 kilo­me­tres from China’s bor­der. Although trade is con­ducted via wa­ter routes from Man­dalay to other cities in Myan­mar, lack of de­vel­op­ment means man­ual labour is of­ten used for han­dling cargo.

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