YCDC tells Mya Kyun Thar Garden developers to halt
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.”
Construction continues at Mya Kyun Thar.