Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Farmers seek compensation ahead of games

Twenty-three farmers from Nay Pyi Taw’s from Shwe Nan Thar ward whose land was used to build a stadium for the Southeast Asian Games are calling on the government to speed up the compensation payment process.

The farmers’ land comprises a 167-acre block, known as Survey Land Plot No 1877/A, that was acquired by the government for the SEA Games.

Max Myanmar has built a stadium, housing for athletes and other games-related buildings on the site.

While many farmers in surrounding areas have been compensated for losing their land, those from Survey Land Plot No 1877/A are still waiting, they said.

The farmers said others who live in plots close to No 1877/A were given compens-ation of K350,000 an acre on March 3 and 4 this year.

“The farmers in our area are the only ones who are yet to receive compensation. We want to be paid K350,000 an acre like the owners of other plots near ours. They already received their payments last month,” said U Myint Naing, a farmer from Shwe Nan Thar.

“But we have heard rumours that we’ll only get K250,000 an acre. We won’t accept it. We want to be treated equally, the same as the others,” he said.

Farmer U Maung Khine said compensation had been delayed because of the water festival holiday; the farmers had been told to submit their ownership claims to the Settlement and Land Records Department by April 8 but were not able to do so until April 11.

“They said they can start working on arranging compensation after water festival. Now they have told us to wait about another 15 days,” U Maung Khine said. “We also raised this issue with the mayor when he visited Shwe Nan Thar in February. But so far we haven’t had any response yet.”

The farmers said officials from Nay Pyi Taw City Development Committee and the township Settlement and Land Records Department have examined the land as part of the compensation process.

While the farmers say the land was acquired by the Tatmadaw in 1993, the committee says the farmland was acquired for the SEA Games and that it will compensate the farmers.

Translated by Zar Zar Soe