Friday, August 18, 2017

Aquarium hits a snag on tree-cutting permission

The construction of a US$15 million aquarium is being held up because Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) has yet to give permission for trees at the site in Kandawgyi Park to be cut down.

An artist’s rendering shows the planned aquarium at Kandawgyi Park, which will replace the Freshwater Fish Garden. Photo: SuppliedAn artist’s rendering shows the planned aquarium at Kandawgyi Park, which will replace the Freshwater Fish Garden. Photo: Supplied

“For the building, some trees which can be moved will be moved, but some are very old and immovable ... For this, we have requested YCDC” for permission to cut them down, said U Sai Moe Kyaw, the manager of the Freshwater Fish Garden, which currently occupies the site.

“If we are allowed, we’ll cut them down and pay the tax. We are waiting permission but YCDC hasn’t replied yet. I hope to hear back this week,” he said.

The aquarium project is being managed by Surbana International Consultants Pte Ltd, which opened an office in Yangon in April, in partnership with the Myanmar Aquarium Company, which won a tender for the site in November 2013.

The 5-acre (2 hectare) site, in Bahan township, is currently home to the Freshwater Fish Garden, which opened in 2005.

It features two waterfalls, a stream, 23 in-ground fish tanks and 24 glass fish tanks. More than 12,700 freshwater fish are displayed, including 26 native species, 30 Asian species, seven African species and eight Latin American species.

The Fresh Water Fish Garden is managed by YCDC’s Department of Gardens and Amusement, as well as the Department of Livestock and Fisheries.

However, it is being demolished to make way for the sleek two-storey building designed by Surbana, which has described the new aquarium as “the most anticipated tourist destination in Yangon”.

Translated by Hein Htet Aung