By Naing Lin Kyi
As for the Ministry of Construction, plans are under way to design and estimate the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, buildings and airfields in accordance with the rules and regulations of the country.
The Government is conducting reforms in all sectors for progress in all states and regions. This is a union where ethnic brethren live together in harmony through thick and thin. Basic infrastructures like roads and bridges need to be sound for reliable road transportation between states and regions so that trade, contact and relations are established enabling all ethnic brethren to have developments in social, education, health and economic sectors. Through this, friendship and good relations among the ethnic brethren will increase. In addition to improving the road transportation and construction of buildings for safe dwelling, the Ministry of Construction is improving rural roads continuously.
Ministry of Construction has adopted a policy which encourages development of roads and bridges and housings to improve the socio economy of the entire people.
The ministry set its target of upgrading more than 42,000 km distance of roads meeting the ASEAN Class III standard by 2030 and upgrading all bridges to RC/PC type.
The ministry’s targets to be achieved by 2030 also include urban planning for more than 330 towns, construction of 1 million apartments and upgrading all roads in rural areas to all-weather roads so that more than 90 percent of rural population can access to road facility.
To achieve its targets, the ministry will work together with private companies under the Public Private Partnership-PPP Program and also with development partners such as JICA, ADB, WB, KOICA and TICA.
After finishing its current housing projects, roads and bridges projects, the ministry will only supervise and maintain the facilities.
“We will not directly involve in the construction later, and we will form a regulatory body to supervise and examine quality of construction projects.
We are committed to carrying out our works without corruption and respective region and state construction ministries are to take the duty,” said Union Minister for Construction U Han Zaw.
The ministry is planning to write the regulations and Standard and Specifications for the Regulatory Body which will carry out construction works on behalf of the ministry.
Ministry of Construction has seen significant achievement in road and bridge sector over two years in office of the new government. Those areas which did not get access to road facility in the past have got access to road in last two years.
Achievement in Kachin State
Bridges and roads in Kachin State are being built with Union funds, State funds and pledged from the Hluttaw through the BOT (built, operate, transfer) system and had so far built and maintained 60 roads with a total length of 2,383 miles, 6 furlongs and 49 bridges.
The 500-feet long Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun) that opened in July 2018 and it is is on the Machanbaw-Farukha-Nawngmun road section. It is a reinforced concrete support bailey bridge with a steel floor and is the first bridge to be opened in the year 2018 at the northernmost part of Myanmar.
Malikha Bridge (Machanbaw) was opened in Kachin State in March 2017. In fiscal year 2017-2018, five bridges with lengths of over 180 feet including the Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun) were built and all will soon be completed.
As a result of the opening of the Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun), road transport will be eased and the health, education, socio-economic status of local populace and flow of goods will be increased. The Khakaborazi region, which is full of natural beauty, will become accessible, while travel and related businesses will develop.
Achievement in Kayah State
About 96 per cent of roads in Kayah State was upgraded to the asphalt road in last two years. The Maese route linking Kayah State and Thailand was also upgraded to 18-foot wide road.
Achievement in Kayin State
With the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, the road section between Eindu and Kawkreik has been upgraded under the Greater Mekong Sub-region’s East-West Corridor project.
The completion of the Myanmar section of the corridor will link Da Nang in Viet Nam with Mawlamyine and Yangon.
Transportation is the most important for local development. If the transportation is getting better in the undeveloped area, it will cause rapid commodity flow and also assist in local development.
Ministry of Construction has improved the infrastructure giving priorities to Rakhine and Chin State. The Natzan Bridge in Tonzang Township which links Tonzang and Kyikha township was also opened.
Matupi-Palatwa Road, Kalay-Falam-Haka Road and the roads linking India’s Mizoram State were also upgraded in the two years period.
In addition to improving the road transportation and construction of buildings for safe dwelling, the Ministry of Construction is trying to improve rural roads continuously and to construct basic infrastructure required by the people such as roads, bridges, houses and city development works enabling the people to have a peaceful and fruitful life.
Union Minister for Construction, U Han Zaw said, “Myanmar which receive a huge amount of rainfall, needs of durable, water resilient roads, so quality is the primary focus of the Ministry of Construction in this sector. We are dedicated to maximizing our resources, energy and human capacity in order to improve the road infrastructure and secure better roads and better connectivity in the country.
One of our most recent projects is the upgrading of two 10-mile sections of the Yangon-Mandalay highway, which we pledged to finish within 100 days. The upgrading will reduce traffic accidents along the highway and will be used as a criterion for estimating the cost of upgrading the entire 366 mile highway.
Urban Development Programme
As for the Ministry of Construction, plans are under way to finish the construction of over 1 million apartments in 330 towns across the country by 2030 under its urban development programme. The Department of Urban and Housing Development is providing proper housing for the people in accord with its policy on long-term development of towns and cities.
In the previous fiscal year, blueprints for urban development in 24 cities in various states and regions were drawn while urban development plans for Mandalay, Mawlamyine and Pathein were drawn in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Low-cost and affordable housing project
The ministry announced that low-cost and affordable housing projects with 3,008 apartments were implemented last financial year (2016-2017)—2,208 apartments in Yangon and 800 in Mandalay.
Union Minister for Construction U Han Zaw said a five-year housing development project (from 2016-2017 to 2020-2021) had been drawn to build 180,000 apartments. For Yangon alone, low-cost and affordable housing projects had been finished and will provide 8,700 apartments.
The Ministry has tried to implement more low-cost housing options for the public and housing projects year by year so that the people can have the opportunity to own apartments.
The Ministry has been conducting reforms in all sectors for progress in all states and regions. Basic infrastructures like roads and bridges are needed to be sound for reliable road transportation between states and regions so that trade, contact and relations are established enabling all ethnic brethren to have developments in social, education, health and economic sectors.
( Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung)