YCDC says Sule Square in­ves­ti­ga­tion on­go­ing

The Yan­gon mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­ity has de­clined the pay­ment of a fine from Shangri-La ho­tels as it awaits more in­for­ma­tion from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - MYAT NYEIN AYE my­at­nyeinaye@mm­times.com

YAN­GON City Devel­op­ment Com­mit­tee says it is un­able to ac­cept ho­tel group Shangri-La’s pay­ment of a K2 bil­lion (US$1.6 mil­lion) fine levied on the Sule Square project be­cause the com­mit­tee is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the fin­ished struc­ture.

As de­vel­oper of the Sule Square com­mer­cial com­plex, Shangri-La is be­ing fined for build­ing two ad­di­tional sto­ries on an of­fice tower that were not in the ap­proved de­sign, ac­cord­ing to the deputy head of YCDC’s Depart­ment of En­gi­neer­ing (Build­ing) U Nay Win.

The K2 bil­lion fine is based on a met­ric of K15,000 per square foot of un­ap­proved space con­structed, he told The Myan­mar Times.

The de­vel­oper re­ceived ap­proval from the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment for a 21-floor build­ing ad­ja­cent to the Sule Shangri-La ho­tel in down­town Yan­gon, with two floors of base­ment and car park­ing. Then in Jan­uary this year, af­ter work had al­ready be­gun, the com­pany sub­mit­ted a new pro­posed de­sign, adding ad­di­tional floors but no in­crease in height, said U Nay Win.

Al­though nei­ther the old nor new ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­proved the new de­sign, YCDC found that the fin­ished Sule Square of­fice tower has 23 floors and only one floor for base­ment and car park­ing. ”We didn’t ap­prove their re­vised pro­posal yet, they al­ready fin­ished build­ing ac­cord­ing that new de­sign,” said U Nay Win. “It was built with­out a per­mit.”

Sule Square has al­ready started ad­ver­tis­ing of­fice space, but U Nay Win said that in ad­di­tion to the fine YCDC is with­hold­ing a Build­ing Com­ple­tion Cer­tifi­cate, with­out which the build­ing can­not open. The de­vel­oper is ea­ger the pay the fine and re­solve the is­sue, he added.

“They want to pay their fine be­cause they want to open their of­fice tower,” he said.

How­ever, YCDC is still wait­ing for ad­di­tional in­put from the Com­mit­tee for Qual­ity Con­trol of High-rise Build­ing Con­struc­tion Projects, and so has not ac­cepted pay­ment, U Nay Win said.

Sule Square’s cen­tre di­rec­tor Peter Ow de­clined to com­ment on the changes made to the de­sign or the de­vel­oper’s will­ing­ness to pay the fine.

“All req­ui­site per­mits for the devel­op­ment of the Sule Square mall have been ap­plied for and we are cur­rently in con­sul­ta­tion with YCDC to se­cure fi­nal ap­proval for the project,” he said.

U Khin Maung Maung, a mem­ber of the qual­ity con­trol com­mit­tee, said that his com­mit­tee had in fact ap­proved the re­vised Sule Square de­sign plan when it was first sub­mit­ted. “We [the qual­ity con­trol com­mit­tee] rec­om­mended the re­vised pro­posal but YCDC didn’t ap­prove the changes,” he said.

U Nay Win could not be reached for clar­i­fi­ca­tion on what ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion YCDC re­quires from the qual­ity con­trol com­mit­tee.

The Com­mit­tee for Qual­ity Con­trol of High-rise Build­ing Con­struc­tion Projects is in charge of the guide­lines for the de­sign of build­ings over 12 sto­ries, eval­u­at­ing pro­posed project de­signs and con­duct­ing on-site in­spec­tions as re­quired.

The com­mit­tee was heav­ily in­volved in a dra­matic city-wide re­view of Yan­gon high-rise build­ings that be­gan in May. That re­view was widely crit­i­cised for pe­nal­is­ing projects that had re­ceived full ap­proval un­der the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, al­though in­struc­tions de­mand­ing dras­tic change to al­most-fin­ished projects were later re­scinded.

Photo: Staff

The Sule Square mall and of­fice tower un­der con­struc­tion in 2015.

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