YCDC tells Mya Kyun Thar Gar­den de­vel­op­ers to halt

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YE MON MYAT NYEIN AYE

Com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ers work­ing on projects at the park­land be­side the city’s Inya Lake have been told by Yan­gon City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee to cease con­struc­tion and sub­mit de­sign plans be­fore pro­gress­ing any fur­ther.

YAN­GON City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee (YCDC) has threat­ened to take ac­tion against those com­pa­nies who do not cease con­struc­tion and re­sub­mit their pro­pos­als on de­vel­op­ments at park­land be­side the city’s Inya Lake.

U Nay Win, deputy depart­ment head of engi­neer­ing (build­ing) at YCDC, told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day that YCDC had in­structed firms work­ing at Mya Kyun Thar gar­den’s park­land area to sub­mit new de­sign pro­pos­als.

“We will take ac­tion if they con­tinue their con­struc­tions,” he said. “We did not give them a per­mit.”

In 2013, eight com­pa­nies were given the green light to start com­mer­cial con­struc­tion projects at Mya Kyun Thar park. At the time, the deals were op­posed by many par­lia­men­tar­i­ans who said both the rental agree­ments and the planned use of land were in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

Eight firms en­tered into agree­ments – Eden Group (4.79 acres), Max Myan­mar Group (6.87 acres), Inya Palace (1.83 acres), Magic Land (13.86 acres), Nay La Pwint Ser­vices (2.61 acres), MGS Re­sort and En­ter­tain­ment (4.15 acres), Good Shan Brother (7.79 acres), and Rya Ji (1.38 acres) – to de­velop the area be­side the city’s largest lake.

YCDC’s play­grounds, parks and gar­dens depart­ment granted con­tracts to the com­pa­nies al­low­ing them to build a recre­ation cen­tre un­der 60year terms, with rental fees set at K12 mil­lion a year per acre.

Un­der the terms of the agree­ment, com­pa­nies can­not build above 60 feet, or within 30 feet of the lake’s em­bank­ment. Yet one firm was even granted per­mis­sion to build a shop­ping mall, ac­cord­ing to one MP.

Last De­cem­ber, sev­eral par­lia­men­tar­i­ans ar­gued that the con­tracts had been awarded be­hind closed doors and that the projects were not con­tribut­ing to pub­lic cof­fers but rather oc­cu­py­ing im­por­tant pub­lic space.

In March, YCDC com­mit­tee mem­ber U Khin Hlaing called for a halt to the projects, claim­ing that four of the eight com­pa­nies were dam­ag­ing the banks of the lakes or build­ing with­out the proper per­mits.

“This is a pub­lic area, if they don’t fol­low the rules they will be in trou­ble,” U Khin Hlaing said at the time.

How­ever, a spokesper­son for YCDC’s depart­ment of play­grounds, parks and gar­dens said at the time that there had been no di­rec­tive to halt con­struc­tion. Sim­i­larly, U Nay Win at the time was not aware of any re­quest to sus­pend the project.

But both de­part­ments were in agree­ment yes­ter­day, how­ever, that the four firms that were con­tin­u­ing con­struc­tion – Inya Palace, Magic Land, Nay La Pwint Ser­vices and Rya Ji – would need to sub­mit more plan­ning doc­u­ments be­fore con­tin­u­ing fur­ther con­struc­tion.

U Ko Ko Lin, depart­ment head of play­grounds, parks and gar­dens, said that agree­ment had been given for phase 1 to be com­pleted in 2015, but phase 2 de­signs need to be sub­mit­ted to YCDC for re­view.

“Our depart­ment didn’t in­struct them to sus­pend the projects for phase 1,” he said. “Phase 1 was to con­nect the elec­tric­ity and build the streets in gar­den’s com­pound.”

Con­tacted yes­ter­day, Magic Land, one of the four com­pa­nies still car­ry­ing out con­struc­tion claimed it had not re­ceived any in­struc­tions from YCDC to sus­pend its de­vel­op­ment.

“The project has al­ready got a per­mit – that’s why we are still com­plet­ing con­struc­tion,” said U Myo Chit, spokesper­son of Magic Land Com­pany.

None of the other busi­nesses that have re­cently restarted con­struc­tion could be reached for com­ment.

Ba­han town­ship law­maker U Thaung Htut said that par­lia­ment had been kept in the dark about the work hap­pen­ing at Mya Kyun Thar park. The for­mer gov­ern­ment had failed in its duty to bring the case to par­lia­ment for re­view, he said.

“We will ask to the gov­ern­ment about all the projects,” he said. “The gov­ern­ment must ex­plain or in­form to the par­lia­ment.”

U Yan Shin, MP for Mayan­gone town­ship, said that MPs will push the is­sue to be re­solved be­fore the end of the year as there should be no com­mer­cial build­ings in the pub­lic space.

“This is pub­lic place but there was a per­mit to build a shop­ping mall given dur­ing the for­mer gov­ern­ment’s term,” he said. “We don’t want that kind of com­mer­cial build­ing in a pub­lic place so we will also in­quire about it un­til we get a re­sult.”


Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

Con­struc­tion con­tin­ues at Mya Kyun Thar.

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