Sunday, August 20, 2017

Jetty construction near Botahtaung Pagoda suspended

Parliament has suspended the construction of a jetty near Botahtaung Pagoda in Yangon, which had already been approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission.

Representatives in the Pyithu Hluttaw approved the suspension yesterday, after Seikkan township MP U Tin Maung Win had proposed postponement of the project on June 3. While the project had been approved by the MIC, it had never asked for the parliamentary approval needed for such projects, said MP U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo.

Minister for Transportation and Communication U Thant Zin Maung said the construction project poses risks for its surroundings that outweigh the benefits the jetty would offer.

“We think the ground under Botahtaung Pagoda is unstable. That makes for a very dangerous situation. We would be blamed if it causes damage to the structure of the pagoda after 10 or 15 years. We should not take the risk,” the minister said.

MPs also raised concerns about congestion problems on the Yangon River and disturbances for people visiting the pagoda due to noise from the harbour.

U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo said it was also possible that the project would form more sandbanks and that the consequences for nearby residents had not been taken into account.

Minister U Thant Zin Maung said that only two companies had competed for the tender, which was eventually won by Kaung Myanmar Aung company.

The government would have received K298.89 million for land-use fees and more than K7 million in monthly fees for the project.

Translation by San Layy