Local environmentalists welcome suspension of construction projects in Yangon

Construction projects in Yangon City suspend work processes to review environmental impacts.
Construction projects in Yangon City suspend work processes to review environmental impacts.

An order has been issued for the one-month suspension of some construction projects at government land plots under the BOT system in Yangon Region in order to review the environmental impacts of the projects, according to an official at the Yangon Region Government Office.
To modernize Yangon and to construct buildings of international standards in the Yangon City Development Committee Area, some companies were permitted to construct buildings on land plots owned by the government in 2013 and 2014.
However, the authorities had to plan inspection tours at the project sites as local environmentalists, architects and engineers later pointed out that those projects might have an impact on the environment.
Suspended projects include those of Shwe Taung Hyday Development Company, Thukha Yadana Company, Megra Landmark Development Company, Shwe Taung Development Company and Adventure Myanmar Tour and Incentive Company on 49.6 acres of land near Yangon’s landmark Shwedagon Pagoda and construction projects at No 61-63 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road.
“We welcome foreign investment in the construction sector because it will help raise our living standards while job opportunities are created for workers. Young Myanmar engineers will also gain valuable work experience,” an official of the team said. “However, these projects should be properly implemented in a transparent manner. Suspension does not mean that these projects were shut down. Suspension is just for field inspection of their impacts on the environment. As the companies are international entities, they will also be open to inspection. After inspection works by a team, one member of which is the chairman of the Myanmar Engineering Society, they will be allowed to continue their work. Necessary advice will also be given to them,” the official added.
Heritage conservationists including National Literary Award Winner Architect Dr Kyaw Latt pointed out that construction projects at the former compound of the Ministry of Defence near Shwedagon Pagoda may hurt the ecosystem of downtown Yangon.
“While efforts are being made to encourage foreign investment on the one hand, the projects should be developed in a transparent manner on the other hand. It will be the best way for all. We welcome the field inspection to review the environmental impact of the projects. As these companies are of international standards, they will be able to find the best solution. Cooperation of all is important for a green city,” said environmentalist Dr Myat Thura.

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