Myanmar Yangon CityYangon City, Myanmar
The Yangon Deepwater Harbour gives hopes for vanishing towns
The New Yangon City deepwater harbour development plan was greeted by the inhabitants of five communities at the brink of being wiped away by bank degradation. Yangon's homes in the south-western community of Kungyangon are threatened because the river bank has been drastically overflowed.
"This year, these homes will probably have to move within the lake wall," U Aung Tun Kyaw, eldest of the villages, said to Frontier on 7 April. Five years ago, when the residents of the irrigation and water use management department were helping to construct the dam, it was at least 152 meters from the river bank, Aung Tun Kyaw said.
As Aung Tun Kyaw said, if the escalation of the banks of the river continues as before, the barrier would have to be constructed up to 5 km further up country and the inhabitants would probably have to be resettled. There is a canal in the middle of the stream near the town, which means that it flows quickly at low and high tides and continuously wears away the banks of the canal.
"Aung Tun Kyaw said, and added that behind the canal there was flat waters and a sandside. Sandbanks are sediments that are sediments accumulated by a stream and change continuously with the speed of the air.
The sandbanks at the Yangon River estuary worsen the river's river bank estuary, according to village residents. Changing homes due to bank erosion is not a new phenomenon for Kungyangon and Kawhmu towns. Now, the river bank is getting ever nearer together; this place and the lake barrier will only last another year at most, I hope," he said.
Over the past few years, San and others in the village have estimated that they have eroded at least 200 ha of arable land. The village residents had expressed concern about the escalation among their deputies under the former regime. Then in January, they were given a surprising trip by Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, who guided a group of high-ranking local civil servants through the area to check out a possible deep-sea harbor in the neighboring Kawmhu Township.
The Kawhmu district is the electoral district that voted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi into the 2012 by-elections and 2015 parliamentary elections. Speaking at a get-together with villagers in Thayettaw town, Phyo Min Thein said the construction of the deepwater harbor would help stop further river bed erosion and provide jobs for people.
"Thwin San said the area was suited for a seaport and for tank storage of fuel," he added, and added that Myanmar and overseas engineering had been testing the ground and water depth in the area after the Prime Minister's meeting. Phyo Min Thein, he said, had pledged to create the neighboring Dala, Kawhmu and Kungyangonownships as part of the New Yangon City without giving detailed information.
Among the civil servants who accompanied the Prime Ministers during his stay were the RFM, Daw Nilar Kyaw, and the RFM, U Han Tun. Mr. Kyaw was recently named President and Mr. Han Tun a member of the Boards of the New Yangon City monitoring organization, whose Deputy President and CEO is Serge Pun, President of the Serge Pun & Associates Group (SPA Group).
New Yangon City Development Co Ltd, which is fully held by the Yangon Region Regional Council, was established at the end of March under the Special Companies Act. The NYDC was founded to "reduce bureaucracy" and allow investments in the NYDC to" run quickly and smoothly", Phyo Min Thein said. NYDC's missions are to design the first stage of New Yangon City on an area of 8,093 ha in the neighboring Kyimindaing, Twante and Seikgyikanaungto west counties of Kawmhu and Kungyangon.
The NYDC's information leaflets issued at its start on 31 March showed the potential deepwater harbour area as part of the second stage of the New Yangon City development. "We are concentrating on the initial stage of the new city's initial infrastructure," said Nilar Kyaw at the opening celebration.
Mr Pun said the NYDC executive committee would use the Switzerland Challenging scheme to guarantee a level playing field and transparent approach to the huge venture. He promised that none of his businesses would offer for a New Yangon City venture. "It is the best way to prevent conflicts of interest," he said, and added that NYDC would make every stage of the lifecycle of the project and the tendering procedure public.
Mr. Phyo Min Thein said that the energy for the project's commercial area would be provided by a planned Ayeyarwady region coastal natural gas facility a few kilometers off the beloved Chaung Tha shore. "CDU/CSU minister UWINKHAING already made promises, so we don't have to be worried about the electrical supply," he said at the start.
Job creation is also a top preoccupation in the development of New Yangon City, the Prime Minster said.