By Kyaw Thu Htet
Six miles of dirt roads in the Mayyu Mountains in Rakhine State have been upgraded to a hard surface using rocks, according to an official from the government construction team known as Special Road Group (17).
An earthen road that linked Kyaukpandu, Indin, and Zedipyin villages was built last year, and will soon be accessible to motor traffic because of the hard surfacing, officials said.
“Road axis was already formed and hard surfacing with rocks has been conducted and about six miles had been close to completion. In some places, box culverts will have to be constructed. Of the 46 box culverts that need to be constructed, about 30 were being constructed simultaneously”, said Deputy Director U Aye Tun Maw of Special Road Group (17).
In the plains area, the road is 40 feet wide and on the mountains it is 34 feet wide. It will be constructed to a two-lane macadam road first and it will be upgraded to a concrete one next year.
“There’ll be 14 bridges that are 50 feet and above and 10 feet and above, which was not included in the initial plan. In this year’s budget, 50 feet and above bridges were not included. Funds were also not provided to upgrade the road up to a concrete one”, said U Aye Tun Maw.
The road connects Zedipyin Village in Yathedaung Township with Kyaukpandu Village in Maungtaw Township. It will also be the main road that connects the villages in eastern side of Mayyu Mountain range with villages in the western side.
“The Kyaukpandu-Indin-Zedipyin road is 10 miles and 7 furlong long. As Rural Development Department had already constructed 1 mile 7 furlong, the newly built road is 9 miles long. The road was being constructed to support regional development and stability. Mayyu Mountain range runs parallel to the Bay of Bengal in Maungtaw, Buthidaung and Yathedaung districts of northern Rakhine State. Because of the mountain, it was difficult to travel from villages in the east to villages in the west. It is an obstacle to regional development and administration. That is why this road is being built”, said U Aye Tun Maw.
In the past there was only one road from Buthidaung to Maungtaw that went over the mountain. The present government is planning to build four more roads over the mountain and in fiscal year 2017-2018, Kyaukpandu-Indin-Zedipyin road and Kyeinchaung-Gopi road will be built. Two more roads, U Daung-Nyaung Chaung Road and That Kine Nya-Padaga Road, are being planned, it is learnt.
“The plan is for four roads. This is the plan. Two more roads are earmarked in the Ministry of Construction budget for fiscal year 2018-2019”, said U Aye Tun Maw.