High­way up­grade to fin­ish within five years

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - – Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han thanhtoo@mm­times.com HTOO THANT

The gov­ern­ment is call­ing on for­eign in­vestors to con­trib­ute to the im­prove­ment of the no­to­ri­ous Yan­gonNay Pyi Taw “Death High­way”.

FOR­EIGN in­vestors will be asked to help im­prove the no­to­ri­ous Yan­gon-Nay Pyi Taw high­way, with up­grades to be com­pleted dur­ing the term of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment. There are plans to widen the road to six lanes, fence it off and pro­vide un­der­passes for pedes­tri­ans.

Speak­ing at an Au­gust 16 press con­fer­ence, U Kyaw Lin, per­ma­nent sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of Con­struc­tion, said the Nay Pyi Taw-Man­dalay leg of the high­way would also even­tu­ally be im­proved.

“We’re ask­ing for help from for­eign in­vestors be­cause the bud­getary re­quire­ments are very large. We ex­pect to up­grade the Yan­gon-Nay Pyi Taw stretch within five years,” U Kyaw Lin told jour­nal­ists, with­out stip­u­lat­ing the es­ti­mated sum re­quired or the iden­tity of pos­si­ble in­ter­na­tional part­ners.

“Ac­cord­ing to the mas­ter plan, the high­way will be six lanes wide, with a traf­fic me­dian, and with fences on each side to keep out an­i­mals and pedes­tri­ans. Mo­tor­cy­cles will not be per­mit­ted to use the high­way,” he said, adding that un­der­passes would al­low lo­cal res­i­dents to cross the road.

Un­der the for­mer gov­ern­ment, com­pa­nies from Ja­pan, South Korea and France showed in­ter­est in im­prov­ing the road un­der a build-op­er­ate-trans­fer (BOT) sys­tem, with 156 com­pa­nies view­ing the ten­der, and 26 com­pa­nies show­ing an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est. How­ever, the gov­ern­ment will not use the BOT sys­tem, said U Kyaw Lin.

“That would re­quire us to col­lect user fees from mo­torists un­til the cost was re­cov­ered. We have de­cided in­stead to main­tain the road at the ex­pense of the state,” he said.

Seven pri­vate com­pa­nies are work­ing on stretches of road on a BOT ba­sis: Max, Shwe Thanl­win, Shwe Taung (Hi Star), Kam­bawza High­way, Asia World, Yuzana and Thaw­dawin are work­ing on stretches of road from Yan­gon to Bago, Bago to Nyaunglay­bin, Nyaunglay­bin to Kyauk­tada, Kyauk­tada to Phyu, Phyu to Nay Pyi Taw, and Nay Pyi Taw to Meik­tila.

Photo: Staff

The gov­ern­ment is seek­ing for­eign in­vestors to help up­grade the Yan­gon-Nay Pyi Taw high­way, pop­u­larly known as the High­way of Death due to the high num­ber of deadly ac­ci­dents that have oc­curred there.

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