Kachin State: Striving towards economic development; Turning into region peaceful drug-free state; Preserving of diverse tribes’ culture and way of life

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi inspects Malikha Suspension Bridge (Machanbaw) in Kachin State. Photo : MNA
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi inspects Malikha Suspension Bridge (Machanbaw) in Kachin State. Photo : MNA

By Shin Min, Photos: Aye Than

Myanmar’s home to snowcapped and highest mountain Hkakabo Razi and country’s one of the spectacular displays of ethnic culture and solidarity Manaw festival celebrations, Kachin State is a place filled with wonderful landscapes and rich culture.
The State Administration in Kachin is striving towards economic development, turning into the region into peaceful and drug-free state where cultures of different tribes come together.

The Fight Against Drugs
The State Chief Minister Dr. Khet Aung comments, “Our priority is to eradicate drugs from the state. Last year, we had 2337 cases with 4225 arrests and 5.2 million grams of drugs, 2.9 million tablets, 245 liters of cocaine liquid and 1147 vehicles and cycles seizures. These add up to around K161 billion. The anti-drug task force also destroyed 161 acres of poppy farms as well.”
Rule of Law
“Regarding rule of law, there have been over 138 cases for 10 different types. Out of 1530 cases, we were able to prosecute 1185 cases as well as prevent 4469 cases and prosecute 21 cases out of 23,” claims the State Chief Minister.
Infrastructure
The State Wheel Tax was abolished last year in April. With the third year of the current administration, we were able to build quite a lot of infrastructure including projects for roads and projects for 1442 bridges. “We’re in Phase 1 which includes the 90 m Tiyanzut Bridge, 60 m Daruka Bridge and Nam Kham Bridge that’s 92 meters long,” declares the Chief Minister.
An additional 383 miles of roads and 363 bridges were built in 2018 as well with the K 39 billion budget. Regarding electricity, we built the Upper Nam Htwet Hydropower project in Putao and provided surrounding 14 wards in Putao and Ma Chan Baw as well as 23 nearby villages.
Located 7 miles west of Putao, the hydropower plant is able to provide up to 14.3 KW hours of electricity. Additionally, several villages near the Ayeyawady river were able to get connected to the power grid from power lines drawn in the area by the government.
Furthermore, 288 towers were erected with 513 mobile stations set up for better communication in the area.
The Mohnyin Town Bus Terminal cost K9 billion to build and the one in Bhamo Town is being constructed as well. There are also plans in place to have a new train running from Myitkyina-Mandalay,” adds the Chief Minister.

Health and Education
To improve the education sector, 125 schools were upgraded with another 134 schools opened with 7 staff housing on a K 10 billion budget. In the healthcare sector, the Myitkyina General Hospital is currently expanding to accommodate more beds than the current 500. The parks also received additional exercise equipment as well as renovations.

Agriculture, Forestry, Minerals and Foreign Investment
To accommodate the needs of the farmers, the state government introduced 300 acres of farm land using modern technology made available by a K347 million fund in addition to the 615 acres of land made available by the Agricultural Mechanization Department. “We were able to grant K322 million of loans to 30,000 farmers to work on 229,685 acres of land. The Ministry was able to settle 230 cases of land confiscation cases and return 39277 acres of land to the 1335 original owners according to the policies of our President,” comments the Chief Minister. “In 2018, there were almost 100,000 metric tonnes of different minerals and 25345 tonnes of jade extracted. We were also able to catch 1396 tonnes of illegal logs as well.” The mining companies, towards the green initiative effort, planted 137,501 trees. In 2018 alone, there were 103 local companies, 4 foreign companies as well as 7 companies with extension of their licenses.

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, attends the 71st Kachin State Day ceremony held at Myitkyina Sitapu Ward Manaw grounds in Myitkyina, Kachin State on 10 January 2019.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the Central Committee for Development of Border Areas and National Races, attends the 71st Kachin State Day ceremony held at Myitkyina Sitapu Ward Manaw grounds in Myitkyina, Kachin State on 10 January 2019.

Rehabilitation efforts
The government was able to support K496 million for 1553 acres that were lost during natural disasters such as flood or pests. There were 4679 households that were affected during natural disasters. There were a total of 25568 people affected with 83 deaths and 82 injured. The government was able to support K313 million total in rehabilitation efforts. The national advisor’s office also donated K300 million for Kachin’s development. This donation was used towards helping people who are fleeing from war so that they can set up a new life elsewhere. The fund included setting up vocational training or giving initial investments so people can buy livestock.

Parliament
During 2018, there were 3 regular meetings and one special meeting. “What we are doing is an ongoing process. We are aware of our shortcomings and are constantly trying to improve these weaknesses. Hence, in the coming years, we will continue to work towards increasing the living standards of people within the rest of our elected years. It is an honor to be elected by the people and we will always strive to do better,” explains the Chief Minister. Translated by Myat Thu

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