Advanced machinery employed to safeguard Bagan Heritage Site from flooding

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Preserving above and underground heritage a priority in enhancing drainage facilities

As drainage facilities are being improved with the use of machinery to prevent flooding in Bagan World Heritage Site, an emphasis is being placed on not harming above and underground cultural heritage, according to the Bagan branch under the Department of Archaeology and National Museum.
The department sought advice from expert Dr Massimo Sarti from the University of Marche of Italy in improving the drains in the cultural region in pursuit of UNESCO guidelines.
Moreover, U Kyaw Myo Win, Director of the Bagan Branch of the department disclosed that they emphasize not harming above and underground cultural heritage to ease the concern of the people over improving the drainage system in Bagan ancient cultural region.
“Being a World Heritage Site, the Bagan region catches public attention more than other ancient regions of the country. Short-term and long-term plans have been adopted to urgently respond to flooding in the Bagan region through collaborative efforts of the officials who have experience in studying emergency response to floods abroad. Moreover, the department invited an Italian expert concerning water management in ancient regions to go on the process under international guidelines. In this regard, we know that people worry about the use of machinery in improving the drainage system. World Heritage Sites are allowed to use small and medium-scale machinery in necessary measures for the sake of people from the society when the heritage impact assessment (HIA) has been conducted. Such kind of measures are not totally prohibited. So, we have to conduct several assessments over the heritages, and machinery can be used in some parts of the work process in which manpower cannot be deployed. Such work process must be mentioned in the State of Conversation-SOC report which is submitted once every two years,” U Kyaw Myo Win explained.
Experts from the department in cooperation with the Italian expert have conducted field surveys for three years, including the micro-topographic survey, measuring ten-centimetre contour line survey for the total station, measuring of the sea level at the datum of Bagan, and conducting heritage impact assessment not to harm heritage in Bagan World Heritage Site to produce necessary maps.
The Italian expert inspected inlet and outlet drainage channels in the Bagan era in the Bagan World Heritage Site and gave suggestions on the ways to solve the flooding in the region and future preventive measures. Currently, the Myanmar-Italy combined team is conducting research works on Wetkyee-in Creek, Ale Lake, Alan Bagan and the viewing mound and the drainage system of the emerald lake (Mya Lake) near Culamani Temple to take preventive measures against flooding in Bagan Heritage Site. — ASH/TTA

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