By Zin Lin Myint, Translated by Robert Tun Win
Infrastructures such as buildings, transport, water and power supplies are necessary for the state of being perfect in a bid to develop the economy of the State. Especially, transport plays a crucial role in carrying out development tasks for a region of a country. Moreover, it is also important to create travel routes to neighbouring countries besides smooth and secure local transport links. With the aim of developing travel routes, plans are underway to build a motor road linking Dawei Special Economic Zone with Hteekhee.
The plan is to build a motor road from Dawei SEZ in Dawei District, Taninthayi Region, to Hteekhee on the border of Myanmar and Thailand. Dawei-Hteekhee motor road will be about 140 KM long, and it will be a two-lane road. It will be as good as the best in the world. Upon completion, anyone can travel to Bangkok, Thailand, from Hteekhee within two hours.
Dawei-Hteekhee is currently an earthen road, and it will be upgraded into a tarred road. After upgrading the road, it will take about two and half hours to travel to Hteekhee on the border of Myanmar and Thailand from Dawei SEZ, and it will be a two-hour drive from Hteekhee to Bangkok, Thailand. It will take about four and a half hours to get to Bangkok from Dawei.
The arrangement has been made to invite tenders for the construction of Dawei-Hteekhee motor road in the mid-year of 2021, reported by the Management Committee of Dawei Special Economic Zone. With the assistance of the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Corporation Agency of Thailand (NEDA), efforts had to be made in acquiring loans to implement Dawei-Hteekhee motor road project, which was approved by Pyidaungsu Hluttaw in April of 2017, and the project is now to begin the work.
The Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Corporation Agency of Thailand (NEDA) will issue out the loans to be spent on the implementation of Dawei-Hteekhee motor road project. As regards, the Ministry of Construction acted as the responsible ministry, and environmental and social impact assessments were carried out and recently approved.
Upon completion of upgrading the Dawei-Hteekhee motor road project, not only Taninthayi Region but also Dawei SEZ will witness great progress relating to society and economics, thereby promoting bilateral trade cooperation between Myanmar and Thailand which can expand the economic area and travel service between the two countries through mutual friendship and goodwill. The Dawei-Hteekhee road is currently an earthen road facing landslides and road erosion which cause road damages and traffic congestion in the rainy season. Rainwater causes the surface under the ground to soften, making it full of mud. In this state, traffic congestions and accidents come about thereby resulting in a barrier to freight transport and travel. For that reason, Dawei-Hteekhee road will be upgraded into a tarred one.
It was learnt that the Taninthayi regional government and land management committee are responsible for handling land compensation for moving houses from the project area. There are some damages caused by rainwater on this motor road between the exit of Myitta and Ai-waing, which can be slippery. Therefore, the drivers have to use high gears to pass through large hollows that appeared on the road. Landslides occur from time to time. Machinery has to be used in this regard. These difficulties will not be found any longer once the road has been upgraded, and it will be smooth and secure enough for the vehicles to drive on.
Dawei-Hteekhee trade route is 97 miles long—34 miles long from Dawei to Myitta and 63 miles long from Myitta to Hteekhee. There is a distance of 43 miles from Hteekhee to Kanchanaburi of Thailand. There is also a distance of 87 miles from Hteekhee to Bangkok, Thailand.
Hteekhee is a border trade camp on the Myanmar side, which was commissioned into service on 11 May in 2013. The implementation plan of upgrading Dawei-Hteekhee road is one of the main tasks already contained in the project of Dawei Special Economic Zone. Dawei Special Economic Zone has an area of 2,000 hectares, including the jetty and industries. Upon completion, it will be the largest economic zone in the Southeast Asian region, quoted the officials from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations in their review as saying.
Myanmar accepted the proposal from Japan to be a part of Dawei Special Economic Zone, according to the official release from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. The project of Dawei Special Economic Zone is divided into two parts-primary project and a main project. Italian-Thailand Company has already got permission to implement the primary project, and it will carry out nine projects, including Dawei-Hteekhee road project, small jetties and LNG port. Japan will undertake the main project of the Dawei Special Economic Zone.
The plan to upgrade Dawei-Hteekhee road project will begin in June or July in 2021. Once Dawei-Hteekhee road upgrading project has been finished, anyone will be able to go to Thailand by land besides an extension of trade area to Southeast Asian countries through Thailand.