New Yan­gon ex­pan­sion plans mooted

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - MYAT NYEIN AYE my­at­nyeinaye@mm­times.com ZAY YAR LINN za­yarlinn@mm­times.com

The gov­ern­ment is sound­ing out ur­ban ex­perts for fresh ideas on ex­pand­ing Yan­gon be­yond its ur­ban borders, af­ter the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plans for the city fell short.

AN ur­ban ex­pert has ap­proached the gov­ern­ment with fresh ideas for ex­pand­ing Yan­gon be­yond its ur­ban borders, in the hope of en­cour­ag­ing well-planned devel­op­ment, af­ter the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion’s am­bi­tious but vague plans for the city fell short.

Faced with ac­cel­er­at­ing ur­ban growth, mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties un­der the Thein Sein gov­ern­ment planned to build seven satel­lite towns on the out­skirts of Yan­gon but failed, partly due to op­po­si­tion from com­mu­ni­ties but mostly be­cause of a lack of de­tailed plan­ning.

Only one ten­der out of seven was called, for the South­west New City, an 11,716-acre site be­tween the Pan Hlaing River, the Twante-Yan­gon Canal, the Hlaing River and the Hlaing Thar­yar-Twante road in west­ern Yan­gon.

The three com­pa­nies that ap­plied for the ten­der were awarded the con­tract and asked to work to­gether. How­ever, no work has yet started be­cause the com­pany is still wait­ing for per­mis­sion from the cur­rent gov­ern­ment to build a bridge across the Hlaing River to con­nect the area with cen­tral Yan­gon.

Now the gov­ern­ment may scrap these old plans al­to­gether and look for new lo­ca­tions to build, U Nay Naing Oo (NLD; Twante) told The Myan­mar Times.

Satel­lite towns are part of the Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (JICA)’s Greater Yan­gon 2040 master plan, which aims to cater to an ex­pected ur­ban pop­u­la­tion of 10 mil­lion by 2040.

“Yan­gon needs satel­lite towns, so the Plan­ning, Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Com­mit­tee is ask­ing ex­perts where they think the best places are to build. We will sub­mit their ideas to Yan­gon Re­gion par­lia­ment,” U Nay Naing Oo said.

Ur­ban plan­ner U Kyaw Latt pre­sented a new plan to the com­mit­tee last week, he said, in­clud­ing four pos­si­ble lo­ca­tions for satel­lite towns: Lay Daungkan ward in East Dagon town­ship; a site near to Kalawe Bridge in Than­lyin town­ship; a site be­tween Dala and Kungyan­gon town­ships; and a site on the west­ern side of Yan­gon River in Ky­ee­myindaing town­ship.

The gov­ern­ment is also de­bat­ing whether or not to pur­sue the South­west New City pro­ject, U Nay Naing Oo said.

“We have been dis­cussing whether this is a good place to build a new city,” he said.

“U Kyaw Latt said the [for­mer gov­ern­ment’s] pro­ject should not be built and pointed out that Lay Daungkan in East Dagon in­cludes 17,000 acres of af­ford­able land that would not be too ex­pen­sive for the gov­ern­ment to buy from res­i­dents.”

The area is also not too far from a main road that leads to Bago, where a new in­ter­na­tional air­port is planned at Han­thawaddy, he said.

The Yan­gon-Man­dalay rail­way also passes through the area.

Com­mit­tee chair Daw San­dar Min said this is the first time the Yan­gon gov­ern­ment has dis­cussed ur­ban ex­pan­sion plans with ex­perts and noted that dis­cus­sions are still at a pre­lim­i­nary stage.

“We will meet with a wide range of ur­ban ex­perts and dis­cuss the city’s devel­op­ment many times,” she said.

“We will only make an of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment when we have a de­tailed plan.”

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