Thursday, July 27, 2017

Upgrades slow for park on Inya Lake

Efforts to upgrade Mya Kyun Thar Park near Inya Lake are likely to be delayed, according to an official from the Yangon City Development Committee.

Construction work is underway at Mya Kyun Thar Park near Inya Lake – though some parts of the development are behind schedule, according to insiders. Photo: Zarni PhyoConstruction work is underway at Mya Kyun Thar Park near Inya Lake – though some parts of the development are behind schedule, according to insiders. Photo: Zarni Phyo

Although authorities had instructed contractors to finish in set timelines, progress has been slow with some, said the official, who works at YCDC’s Department of Gardens and Parks.

“Some companies have not been able to show their building designs to us, and we cannot allow construction to proceed without seeing the designs,” he said.

“The projects are delayed, and I’m not sure whether they can be finished in time.”

Private companies have been invited to participate in the project to upgrade the park since 2010, with no contractor yet completely finished their parts of the project. However, company officials have countered that frequent changes from the government’s side has made completing projects difficult.

The park was owned by the Ministry of Defence until 2012. In the 2012-13 fiscal year it was transferred to YCDC, requiring new contracts with updated prices, as well as upgrading some parts of the project with more modern design.

“Some companies are waiting for blueprints they have ordered from foreign architects and designers – I think that is why they are delaying,” said the YCDC official.

Eight Myanmar companies are participating in the 30-year contract to build a modern amusement park at Mya Kyun Thar. The completed project is to include shopping malls, health care clinics, restaurants, cinemas, game centres and a golf driving range.

The driving range opened several months ago, allowing participants to hit golf balls into the lake. The balls float and are collected by boat.

The YCDC official said the unique aspects of the 44.5-acre park are being preserved.

“Businesses and their customers are not allowed to throw waste into the lake, and are prohibited from going into the lake,” the official said.

Authorities are also keen to preserve trees in the area, though the park is not a designated green area, he said.

“So it is not breaking the rules, letting companies do their business,” he said. “And in my opinion, the park was once a place that was only filled with couples – like a dating area. But if game centres and entertainment buildings are added, it will be a place for families. So this is great.”

Yangon residents say they have enjoyed the park in the past, and are waiting to see what happens with the development before making judgment.

There is lots of development near Inya Lake – not only Mya Khun Thar (foreground) but also the Sedona expansion and HAGL projects (background). Photo: Zarni PhyoThere is lots of development near Inya Lake – not only Mya Khun Thar (foreground) but also the Sedona expansion and HAGL projects (background). Photo: Zarni Phyo

Ko Myo Minn, 27, says he enjoyed visiting when he was a student.

“The park was so big and not crowded like other parks. There were lots of trees and many had their species labeled, like a botanical garden – and there was a karaoke room where we could show off our vocal abilities,” he said. “I enjoyed the old park a lot.”

He is now employed full-time and too busy to visit, so he said he’s not sure if the park’s development is a good idea.

“If the upgrades are completed, the park could be lively again – but I still want the trees to be preserved,” he said.

Another official from the committee overseeing the Mya Kyun Thar development said that an access road is currently being built by Max Myanmar, and most of the companies are expected to begin construction at the site this year.