An inter-village tar road was opened in Kyonbyaw Township, Ayeyawady Region, yesterday, as part of the rural roads, bridges, rural economic and transport development project.
Undertaken by the Department of Rural Road Development (DRRD), with aid provided by the World Bank under the emergency rehabilitation program against floods and landslides, the tar road connecting the villages of Shan Zu-Chaung Zauk-Hle Zeik-Moe Gyo Pyit was commissioned by dignitaries, including Manh Win Khaing Than, the Speaker of Ayotha Hluttaw.
Speaking on the occasion, Speaker Manh Win Khaing Than said, “Under the emergency rehabilitation program, DRRD of the Ministry of Construction has been rebuilding and upgrading rural roads destroyed by natural disasters in Magway, Sagaing, Bago, Yangon and Ayeyawady regions, with an interest-free loan of US$ 70 million disbursed by the World Bank.” The emergency rehabilitation program also deals with standardizing rural transport facilities.
“As for the upgrading and maintaining the rural roads and bridges, we must acquire aids and loans from our development partners, apart from the funds allotted by the Union,” he said , adding that the Hluttaws should also set up funds for the purpose.
“Fifty percent of the villages of the country are accessible by all-weather roads; and 36 percent, by summer-only dirt roads. But the remaining 14 percent is not connected with any proper roads,” the Speaker noted.
He then continued to say that the importance of the transport improvement of the rural areas where 70 percent of the population of the country lived.
“As the inter-village tar road, which is a part of the WB-aided emergency rehabilitation program, is now serving as an all-weather road for the rural people of Ayeyawady Region, the local government and public are responsible for maintaining the facility”, he stressed.
The 14-kilometer long Shan Zu-Chaung Zauk-Hle Zeik-Moe Gyo Pyit village-to-village tar road directly benefits 10,627 persons of 2487 households of 17 villages in and around Kyonbyaw Township. Union Minister for Construction U Han Zaw also gave a speech, saying that under the agreement signed with the World Bank, the global financial body would provide US$ 70 million as an interest-free loan to rebuild over 189 miles of rural roads and 29 bridges, destroyed by a certain kinds of unforeseen and uncontrollable natural forces in 2015, in 43 townships of Magway, Sagaing, Bago, Yangon and Ayeyawady regions.
“The Shansu-Chaungsauk-Hleseik-Moegyopyit village-to-village road cuts travelling time and cost of the rural people,” he said, stressing the importance of maintaining such standard rural transport facilities for their durability.
The Union Minister elaborated on the ministry’s role in maintaining 55,507 miles of rural roads and 24,183 rural bridges in the country which had 63,889 villages; and upgrading 2,838 miles of rural roads into 306 miles of concrete roads, 328 miles of tar roads, 425 miles of gravel roads, 1086 miles of laterite roads, and 694 miles of dry-weather roads, and 1498 rural bridges into 470 concrete bridges, 908 box culverts, 37 bailey bridges and 80 other types of bridges.
As the task of building, upgrading and repairing rural roads and bridges was enormous, the Ministry of Construction had been working hand in hand with the relevant ministries and development partners, he said.
Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung of Ayeyawady Region explained the regional development and transport improvement undertakings.
Mr. Mark Austin, the Representative of Country Management of the World Bank, extended greetings, and Ms. Hinerike Brecht, the Task Team Leader, explained points of the Shansu-Chaungsauk-Hleseik-Moegyopyit road project. A local expressed thanks for the rural road, and assured collective protection and maintenance of the facility.
Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than, Union Minister U Han Zaw, Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung, Region MP Mahn Johnny, Director-General of DRRD U Khin Thet, and Mr. Mark Austin and Ms. Hinerike Brecht of World Bank formally opened the road and posed for documentary photos together with the local people.
Thanks to the facility, the transport improvement will surely propel development in multiple fields including social, economic, education and health sector of the rural people. —MNA (Translated by TMT)