Monday, July 24, 2017

Japan International Cooperation Agency updates 30-year plan for Yangon

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) says it has partially finished survey work needed to draft a 30-year master plan for Yangon city, a seminar was told last week.

JICA’s presentation focused on the work it had done on a master plan for Myanmar’s commercial capital.

The seminar was held at the Yangon City Development Committee hall in City Hall on Wednesday, November 14 and attended by nearly 150 people, including Yangon Region Chief Minister U Myint Swe, Yangon Mayor U Hla Myint, as well as JICA representatives, INGOs, YCDC officials and reporters.

“Today we want to present the interim report, some half studies for the 30-year project,” said Mr Tanaka Masahiko, JICA’s chief representative in Myanmar.

“We want to present the objectives and scope of all of our studies for the [master plan] of the project that is intended to finish in March next year,” he said.

Mr Tanaka said two projects underway since August are the overall strategic urban development plan of Greater Yangon and a project to improve water supply, sewage and drainage systems in the city.

He said a third project, focussing on urban transport, will begin in December.

Mr Tanaka said the aim of the Wednesday, November 14 presentation was to propose three alternatives for the development of Yangon’s Central Business District (CBD) by 2040.

“I’d say there are three alternatives: the first one is the super CBD single core system, the second one is the sub-centre system and the third one is the sub-centre with green isles system,” he said.

“But according to JICA’s experts, the sub-centre system and sub-centre with green isles are more highly recommended because Yangon city will have more than 10 million people by 2040 and a single super-centre CBD might not be workable.

“We’d have to build many skyscrapers and there will be many traffic and environmental problems. We highly recommend sub-centres to avoid traffic jams, high contamination of water sources and environmental problems,” Mr Tanaka said.

However, implementing that model of development would require basic infrastructure to provide sufficient roads, railways, water and electricity.

Mr Tanaka said JICA is discussing its two recommended proposals with YCDC and a final decision might be made by March next year, at which time the interim study is expected to be completed.

He said ensuring clean water supplies for the city is a concern: “There are so many water problems in Yangon with water shortages and quality. Issues such as shortages and water delivered to users without treatment, as well as high revenue losses caused by deteriorated pipes need to be resolved,” he said.

“The aim of today’s seminar is to announce our project to the public … [and to] to present what we’re doing now, as well as hear the opinions of various stakeholders.

“JICA experts will continue this study until March and will present a final report then during another seminar,” the chief representative said.