South­west New City rub­ber­stamped

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page -

A ten­ta­tive green light has been given for the devel­op­ment of Yan­gon’s South­west New City.

A TEN­TA­TIVE green light has been given for the devel­op­ment of Yan­gon’s South­west New City – but the re­gional gov­ern­ment says it will ex­er­cise strict con­trol to keep out land spec­u­la­tors.

The move ap­pears to dis­pel some of the un­cer­tainty that has clouded the project since the new re­gional gov­ern­ment took over.

The three com­pa­nies al­ready se­lected un­der a ten­der process con­ducted by the last gov­ern­ment ap­pear to be still on track to build the project. But the re­gion says it will start a new ten­der process for a fourth com­pany.

Yan­gon Re­gion Chief Min­is­ter U Phyo Min Thein said, “The three com­pa­nies se­lected [will] have to par­tic­i­pate in the new city in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment. Other com­pa­nies wish­ing to take part will have to go through the ten­der process.”

But the Yan­gon Re­gion Gov­ern­ment also said they would clamp down on land spec­u­la­tion to keep prices down.

“We won’t al­low th­ese three com­pa­nies to di­vide up the land when they im­ple­ment projects, and we won’t al­low them to sell land and pay com­pen­sa­tion them­selves,” said the chief min­is­ter. “Our gov­ern­ment will strictly con­trol land spec­u­la­tion as we im­ple­ment this project sys­tem­at­i­cally.”

The South­west New City project is one of seven new city projects called for un­der the Yan­gon Mas­ter Plan 2040. But its im­ple­men­ta­tion had been in some doubt fol­low­ing crit­i­cisms of the ten­der process con­ducted by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment, which had to be run a sec­ond time.

In July 2015, an­other ten­der for the South­west project was an­nounced. Al­though 54 com­pa­nies had ini­tially sig­nalled in­ter­est in the devel­op­ment, only three showed up at Yan­gon Re­gion Par­lia­ment to of­fi­cially de­clare their bids: Yan­gon South West Devel­op­ment Pub­lic Com­pany, Business Cap­i­tal City Devel­op­ment Ltd and Shwe Popa In­ter­na­tional Con­struc­tion Com­pany. The project will cover a to­tal of nearly 12,000 acres (4800 hectares) in Twante and Seik­gyi Kanaungto town­ships.

U Tin Sein, spokesper­son for Yan­gon South­west New City Devel­op­ment, said there was no need for his com­pany to re-en­ter the ten­der process.

“The most re­cent plan for South­west New City re­quired the con­struc­tion of Bar­ga­yar Bridge across the Hlaing River as part of the project. But since it was post­poned, we don’t know if any­thing has changed. The new gov­ern­ment has not met with us and we’ve only just heard about the new ten­der process,” he told The Myan­mar Times.

How­ever, the re­gional gov­ern­ment does in­tend to con­tinue the project and has drafted a mas­ter plan on the in­struc­tions of the chief min­is­ter, Yan­gon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe told the re­gional par­lia­ment last month.

“We’re fo­cus­ing on this project to im­prove the lives of the peo­ple of Yan­gon, so we’re deal­ing with com­pa­nies that can make a suc­cess of it,” he said.

Photo: Aung Khant

A mo­tor­bike drives through the South­west New City project site.

MYAT NYEIN AYE

YE MON

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