Monday, August 21, 2017

Government backs mega housing projects in Yangon

The Ministry of Construction’s Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development (DHSHD) is planning the development of two major housing projects in Yangon’s Dagon Seikkan township under a K500 billion government grant, a government official announced last week.

The Ayeyarwon development project is situated on 120 acres of land while the Yadanar development project stands on 100 acres. Both comprise 17,408 apartments and the projects are slated for completion in two to three years, said U Aung Kyaw Oo, the director of the land and tax revenue department under the DHSHD, during a press release held at Dagon Seikkan’s Kanaung Hall on January 2.

“These projects are a pilot plan for all public housing projects in Myanmar. The housing projects will be 18-storeys and include lifts, water and electricity, and their own generators. Apartments will have two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen and will be able to accommodate five household members each. In total, these two projects will be able to house over 80,000,” U Aung Kyaw Oo said.

He added that providing homes to families in the area is a top priority along with building schools, hospitals and public parks to accelerate urban development. He said the project aims to improve Dagon Seikkan’s population, which lies on the outskirts of Yangon.

Because the soil and bedrock at the construction site is soft due to Dagon Seikkan’s proximity to the Yangon River, U Aung Kyaw Oo said the construction team must give extra attention to the foundations’ structural safety.

The soil testing period started in the beginning of the month and will last until March. The Committee for Quality Control of High Rise Building Projects, the Myanmar Engineering Society and technicians from Singapore have all been invited by the DHSHD to participate in the three-month assessment and to give further advice on structural safety.

Construction of the two edifices will begin in April following the assessment, U Aung Kyaw Oo said.

However, illegal squatters living in the area zoned for the residential development project are already hampering construction plans, U Aung Kyaw Oo said. The government has issued them a deadline to have vacated the area by January 6.

“What happened is that when we started the project in Dagon Seikkan, we allowed the labourers to live near the project site. They never go back when the [daily work] is finished and live by the site, also with their families.

“With this current project, many families are squatting on the site illegally. There are 338 squatters in the township’s 61st district and 676 squatters in the 67th district,” he said.

DHSHD and city authorities announced they will evict the illegal squatters living on the project site on December 31 and have since erected notice boards. If the squatters have not vacated by January 6, they will be evicted in accordance with the government’s bylaws, DHSHD announced at the press conference.