Farm­ers cry foul over govt hous­ing project

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YEE YWEL MYINT yiy­we­myint@mm­times.com

Farm­ers in a vil­lage in Dagon Seikkan town­ship are un­happy af­ter the gov­ern­ment de­cided to build houses for civil ser­vants on the land where they plant paddy.

FARM­ERS in a vil­lage in Dagon Seikkan town­ship in Yan­gon de­cried the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to con­vert their 183 acres of farm­lands into a hous­ing project for re­tir­ing gov­ern­ment work­ers.

The lands were given to the farm­ers to plant crops by the gov­ern­ment in 1997 un­der the name “Sein Lan So Pyay Yay” [mean­ing to be green and lush] but on Au­gust 8, the au­thor­i­ties pro­hib­ited the farm­ers from cul­ti­vat­ing as a gov­ern­ment hous­ing will be con­structed in the area, the farm­ers said.

Nine farm­ers will not be able to pur­sue their liveli­hoods as a re­sult of project, and they wanted to dis­cuss with the gov­ern­ment so they can be pro­vided with an­other farm­land or al­ter­na­tive jobs, ac­cord­ing to U Myo Win, one of the af­fected farm­ers.

“I’ve been work­ing for 20 years on this land. And, we’ve cul­ti­vated with­out fail for many years. Now, on the land which we have planted rice are be­ing filled with and we’re fac­ing lot of dam­ages,” he said.

The Cen­tral Com­mit­tee on Con­fis­cated Farm­lands and Other Lands, on Au­gust 26, met with the farm­ers and told them to stop their farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the area, U Myo Win said.

Since it was rice-plant­ing sea­son, the farm­ers re­quested for a twom­onth re­prieve to al­low plan­ta­tion in other places, apart from the lands that were filled by sand.

An ini­tial agree­ment was reached to al­low the farm­ers to con­tinue plant­ing in the area not yet filled with sand but on Septem­ber 9, the town­ship ad­min­is­tra­tor pub­lished a no­tice warn­ing that there should not be any farm­ing in the project land.

The no­tice warned of le­gal ac­tions if the warn­ing is ig­nored.

The re­tire­ment hous­ing project is be­ing un­der­taken by the Yan­gon Met­ro­pol­i­tan De­vel­op­ment Pub­lic Com­pany, and the ground-break­ing cer­e­mony was held on Au­gust 27.

The gov­ern­ment has drawn a list of civil ser­vants in the coun­try who wish to live in Yan­gon af­ter their re­tire­ment, and The Civil Ser­vant Hous­ing Project is for those en­listed who are still work­ing, and also for staff who would re­tire in about two years time.

The project will com­prise of 6-storey build­ings with 4, 8 or 12 units per floor, to­tal­ing 4000 units.

Photo: Aung Khant

A man rides a bi­cy­cle past a sign­board for a civil ser­vant hous­ing project in Da­gan Seik Kan town­ship, Yan­gon, on Septem­ber 12.

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