Sunday, August 20, 2017

Confusion over committee policy on illegal homes in Mandalay

A woman walks in front of illegal homes in Kangyikone village on October 16. Phyo Wai Kyaw / The Myanmar TimesA woman walks in front of illegal homes in Kangyikone village on October 16. Phyo Wai Kyaw / The Myanmar Times

Mandalay City Development Committee has created lists of families living illegally in Kangyikone village, put numbers on houses and taken photos of the people staying in each home, residents in the area said last week.

The committee had tried to evict the illegal residents on September 20 but gave up because of strong opposition.

The eviction came after MCDC declared in its Mandalay daily newspaper on September 15 that there were about 1180 huts and houses in parts of Myayi Nandar ward in Chanmyartharsi township, Kangyikone village, Zeeoke village and Ywarthit Kalay village in Pyigyitagun township and Nat Yekan village in Amarapura township that have been built illegally on municipal land.

After warning the trespassers to leave those places no later than September 16, MCDC demolished illegal homes in Myayi Nandar ward on September 17. However, its workers were unable to evict residents in Kangyikone three days later.

“Some are still staying there and the houses are not destroyed yet in Kangyikone, Zeeoke and Ywarthit Kalay villages. MCDC staff came here from October 3 to 9 and made family lists, and took the photos of the illegally built houses. They also assigned house numbers but gave no reason for doing that. We don’t know what their plan is or what will happen,” a 30-year-old snackshop owner, who lives near Magway Monastery in Kangyikone village, said on October 16.

This has prompted more people to build houses in the area as they have heard they will be able to get compensation from MCDC, said a 45-year-old woman who runs a cold drink shop in the village. “However, [giving compensation] is just a rumour and we haven’t heard any exact information yet.”

U Tin Htut Kyaw, head of the committee’s Land Records Department, said his staff did as the mayor had instructed them but they are also unaware of what the next step will be.

“We just did as the mayor asked. However, no additional instructions have been given yet,” U Tin Htut Kyaw said on October 17.

Mandalay Mayor Aung Moune met illegal residents of Pyigyitagun and Amarapura townships on September 14 and told them that MCDC had already given compensation when it acquired the land in 1991.