On 3 June 2020, a day in late summer, the car headed to the north from the south, along the Thanlwin River Road in Hpa-an, to Mon State. When reached the Hpa-an Bridge approach road just after Zwekapin hotel, the signboard to Mawlamyine, Mon State, was followed at the intersection.
The Hpa-an-Mawlamyine road is very straight and has been built for many years, but it is still in good condition due to good maintenance. After crossing two cable-suspension bridges, including the Attaran Bridge, I arrived in Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State.
There are 2 districts, 10 townships, 19 towns, 106 wards, 368 village-tracts and 1,143 villages with over 2,235,162 population- 848,983 people living in towns and 1,541,465 people living in villages in Mon State.
For the rural people in 733 villages, which make up more than 70 per cent of the total population in the state, the Mon State Department of Rural Development built non-seasonal asphalt/concrete roads in 538 villages in the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year. In addition, efforts are being made to make rural roads accessible in all seasons.
Of the total 960/4.4 miles of rural roads in the whole state, there are 110/0 miles of concrete roads; 323/0 mile of asphalt road, 40/1.3 miles of gravel road; 85/3.1 mile of laterite road, 402/0 miles of earthen road in the 2019-2020 financial year.
It is reported that the earthen roads will be upgraded to asphalt roads, concrete roads, gravel roads, laterite roads and the wooden and bamboo bridges will be upgraded to natural disaster-resistant reinforced concrete bridges with a budget for each year for more than 1.5 million rural people living in Mon State.
The State Rural Road Development Department constructed 35/6.119 miles of concrete roads, asphalt road (111/0.648) miles, asphalt paving (17/6.46 miles), gravel road (14/0.76 miles), earthen road (39/2.61 miles), totally of 218/0.597 miles of roads were completed for the rural people, with a total of 123 bridges including 54 concrete bridges and 68 box culverts from the financial year 2017-2018 to the budget year 2019-2020.
In addition, in the fiscal year 2020-2021, 5/6.7 miles of asphalt road, asphalt layer (1/0 mile), land expansion (5/5.5 miles), a total of (12/4.2) miles and a concrete bridge are under construction with the Union fund K2013.526 million. A total of 96/1.15 miles of rural roads, 40 concrete bridges and 21 box culverts are being constructed with K16,683.2341 million from the state fund.
The construction of concrete roads (0/3.7 miles), asphalt road (1/4.6) miles, a total of 2/0.4 miles and a box culvert and other operations are underway with K273.7185 million in the financial year 2020-2021 and the pilot project work is being carried out on rural roads that connect to main roads and cities for the benefits of the state’s rural people.
As a pilot project of the State Rural Road Development Department, a total of K4,403.296 million has been spent on upgrading works of the Thanbyuzayat-Panga-Karuppi-Wekalaung-Ankhe-Kawle-Htinshu-Kyaungywa-Anin village road (26/5) miles from 2017-2018 to 2020-2021.
In 2020-2021FY, the officials conducted operations for (3/4) miles of tar road, (3/0) miles of land area expansion and 130ft long bridge over Thabyay creek. Currently, 95 per cent of construction works are completed. The remaining projects to construct six bridges will be implemented in the coming 2021-2022 FY.
The Thanbyuzayat-Pa Nga-Karuppi-Wekalaung-An Khe-Kaw Lay-Htin Shu-Kyaung Ywar-Anin inter-district road is connected with Hnit Kayin junction to a deep seaport in Thanbyuzayat and Ye townships. It was such a rough dirt road to pass in previous years.
Therefore, the officials constructed a tar road for the local people to facilitate their transportation. The road is a useful one for the residents and gardeners living in Thanbyuzayat and Ye townships for many circumstances including education, economy, social and health issues.
The Panga salt area mainly uses that road and it (the road) also provides the trade flow for a total of 109,447 people of 18,381 households in 28 villages. The road is connected with Myeik road.
The Kyonehaw-Yama Seik bridge in Paung Township of Thaton District in Mon State bears Class (A) road and is located on Phyuba-Thae Gone- Nyaung Gone Gyi- Mya Lay Chaung –Yin Nyein (north) road section. The place was once just a jetty.
The road is a useful one for the residents and gardeners living in Thanbyuzayat and Ye townships for many circumstances including education, economy, social and health issues
The Kyonehaw- Yama Seik truss bridge is located at (18/4) miles of Phyuba-Thae Gone- Nyaung Gone Gyi- Mya Lay Chaung –Yin Nyein (north) road section and linked with the Yangon-Mawlamyine road section.
The state Rural Road Development Department rebuilt the bridge using K1422.000million of Union/state budget in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 budget years.
A total of 16,144 people of 16,144 households from 15 villages can use that bridge to transport their farming products.
The Mon State DRRD utilized K3395.553 million of Union/state budget in 2017-2018FY while K2250.055million in 2018-2019 (6months) FY, K13852.836 million in 2018-2019 (12-month) FY, K1565.629 million of Union road budget in 2019-2020FY, K1118.200 million of bridge budget (Union) in 2019-2020FY, K13564.1255 million of road budget (state) in 2019-2020FY, K2717.170 million of bridge budget (state) in 2019-2020FY, K1593.526 million of road budget (Union) in 2020-2021FY, K420.000 million of bridge budget (Union) in 2020-2021FY, K13710.4721million of road budget (state) in 2020-2021FY and K2972.762 million of bridge budget (state) in 2020-2021FY.
The Mon State DRRD makes concerted efforts to meet the strategic goal of the department like to construct rural roads for 80 per cent of villages and 90 per cent of rural people across the nation in 2030, and for the villages with 1,000 people and above in 2020, 95 per cent of villages with 500 peole and above, and 50 per cent of villages with 250 peole and below in 2025. —Chan Myae Maung/GNLM