In­ves­ti­ga­tion team to in­spect land grants

The Myanmar Times - - News - SI THU LWIN sithul­win@mm­times.com

WHO got the land? An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is be­ing launched to look into the cir­cum­stances un­der which land grants were made last Fe­bru­ary and March in Man­dalay Re­gion. The re­gional hlut­taw agreed to launch the probe on July 1 at a spe­cial ses­sion.

U Myint Aung Moe, re­gional hlut­taw rep­re­sen­ta­tive for con­stituency 2 of Chan Mya Tharsi town­ship, pro­posed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ap­par­ent grant­ing of pub­lic land to pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als.

His pro­posal was ap­proved af­ter be­ing sec­onded by 10 other MPs.

Man­dalay City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee head and mayor of Man­dalay U Ye Lwin told the hlut­taw, “These grants of land to pri­vate per­sons were ap­proved dur­ing the time of tran­si­tion. The land was treated like stocks for play­ing the mar­ket. The grants do not con­form to our stan­dards.” He said sim­i­lar grants were made out­side the ju­ris­dic­tion of MCDC.

The mayor said land was granted to 99 peo­ple, with two re­ceiv­ing more than 3 acres each, four get­ting 2 acres each, and 12 be­ing granted one 1 each.

The mayor said the land in ques­tion had been ear­marked for a pub­lic health project, an el­e­men­tary school, a high school project and a new mar­ket build­ing. Though the 13-clause grant con­tracts them­selves con­tained no vi­o­la­tion, a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team should be set up to re­view the is­sue be­cause land meant for pub­lic pur­poses was in­volved.

Fol­low­ing the hlut­taw’s de­ci­sion, Man­dalay Re­gion Chief Min­is­ter U Zaw Myint Maung told mem­bers, “The spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team will be es­tab­lished with­out de­lay. It will com­prise re­gional hlut­taw rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the ad­vo­cate gen­eral. It will look into the dis­po­si­tion of the pub­lic land granted dur­ing the tran­si­tional pe­riod. If it is de­cided that the grants brought no pub­lic ben­e­fit, the grants will be ab­ro­gated and the land re­claimed.

“Land set aside for play­grounds, health centres, hospi­tals and clinics, and mar­kets should not be granted to pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als. If the spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team so finds af­ter its in­spec­tion, the pay­ments for the grants will be re­turned and the grants ab­ro­gated.”

It emerged dur­ing the hlut­taw de­bate that the nor­mal process of grant­ing pub­lic land to pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als took at least three to six months, dur­ing which time the process had to be ad­ver­tised in the me­dia. The grants ap­proved dur­ing the tran­si­tional process took only one month to be com­pleted.

– Trans­la­tion by San Layy

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