President U Thein Sein on Saturday inspected waterway conservation of the 35-mile long Pan Hlaing River that passes through Yangon and Ayeyawady regions.
In the morning, the President, Union Minister U Myint Hlaing and Yangon region’s chief minister U Myint Swe arrived at Kathabaung village monastery in Twantay Township, Yangon Region, to meet locals and hear their views regarding conservation of the river and rural development programmes.
U Thein Sein also visited the project site of conservation works where the locals, including a 94-year old man, expressed appreciation for the government’s improvement of transport and communication programmes.
The president said the area would be able to triple its crop growth in a year thanks to water management programmes, urging the locals to educate their children for a better community in the future.
The government expects conservation of the river will help promote transportation and prevent flooding, he said.
Union Minister U Myint Hlaing explained the conservation project and waterway transport along the river which flows through Hlaingtharyar, Htantabin and Twantay townships in Yangon region. The project will also benefit people in more than 100 villages of Nyaungdone Township.
Upon completion of the conservation project, Pan Hlaing River will have a total of 14 sluice gates— the existing nine and the five more facilities in the near future— that will be able to prevent more than 120,000 acres of cultivated land from flooding.
The development programmes of the area will also include construction of six bridges.
U Kyaw Myint Hlaing, director general of the Department of Irrigation, explained the design, provided by the Dutch government, of the Pan Hlaing sluice gate at the confluence of the Pan Hlaing and Hlaing rivers.
The government has plans to create a modern agricultural zone, including organic farming and development programmes, along the Pan Hlaing River.
In the past, double-decker ships could ply across the Pan Hlaing River up to Pan Hlaing Golf club in Yango, with sandbanks blocking the shipping lane near Ohonbinsu village of Ayeyawady region.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation has implemented the conservation project since April 2014 with the use of 349 units of machinery. It has completed 98 percent of the project, which is estimated to benefit 20,833 households and a total of 120,164 acres of land in 35 village-tracts along the river at its completion in May.
In the afternoon, President U Thein Sein discussed with U Lu Min, chairman of Myanmar Motion Picture Association, U Tin Oo Lay, chairman of Myanmar Musicians Association and U Mya Kyi, chairman of Myanmar Artistes Association, about possible construction of international standard artistic center and the elder care programmes for veteran artistes.
The meeting was attended by union ministers U Soe Thane, U Tin Naing Thein and U Ye Htut; Yangon region’s chief minister U Myint Swe and department heads.