MP airs con­cerns Dala bridge won’t go ahead

The Myanmar Times - - News - Thanhtoo@mm­ HTOO THANT

DALA town­ship res­i­dents are wor­ried that a slated bridge will not go ahead fol­low­ing com­ments made by Yan­gon Re­gion’s chief min­is­ter at a meet­ing in June, ac­cord­ing to an MP.

“At the meet­ing, the Yan­gon Re­gion chief min­is­ter said that the cur­rent bridge de­sign is too high, in­cludes a two-tiered fly­over and will cause traf­fic jams on the ap­proach­ing roads,” said U Sein Mya Aye (NLD; Dala). “He also said that pub­lic funds will be wasted if the pro­ject is abol­ished be­cause it doesn’t align with the 2040 Mas­ter Plan for the devel­op­ment of Yan­gon.”

Dala res­i­dents are con­cerned by the fact that the pro­ject is yet to re­ceive fi­nal ap­proval from the Union govern­ment even as ground­break­ing work has al­ready taken place, said U Sein Mya Aye.

Min­is­ter for Con­struc­tion U Win Khine as­sured the Pyithu Hlut­taw that the pro­ject would con­tin­ued as planned, with con­struc­tion be­gin­ning in a year’s time.

The min­is­ter said that con­struc­tion of the bridge will only com­mence once con­tracts are fi­nalised be­tween the govern­ment and the com­pa­nies re­spon­si­ble for the de­sign, su­per­vi­sion and con­struc­tion of the pro­ject.

These con­tracts must re­ceive fi­nal ap­proval from the Union govern­ment.

The pro­ject, which is ex­pected to cost US$168.2 mil­lion, has been largely funded by a $137.8 mil­lion loan from the South Korean govern­ment which was ap­proved by the Pyi­daugnsu Hlut­taw in May last year. The loan has been granted at 0.01 per­cent in­ter­est with a de­fer­ment pe­riod of 15 years.

Once com­plete, the bridge is ex­pected to be the tallest bridge in the coun­try, at 48 me­tres (160 feet) high, en­abling ves­sels load­ing up to 1500 tonnes to pass be­neath eas­ily. The bridge will be 247m (823ft) wide.

Com­pen­sa­tion for houses, gar­dens and schools within the pro­ject area on the Dala side has al­ready been ne­go­ti­ated with res­i­dents and work on ac­cess roads near Bo Min Yaung Road in Dala are al­ready un­der way.

The pro­ject is ex­pected to be com­pleted in the 2020-21 fi­nan­cial year.

– Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

Photo: Zarni Phyo

Pas­sen­gers ride the ferry be­tween Kyauk­tada and Dala town­ships in May 2015.

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