Preserving infrastructure is key to sustainable development

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Myanmar’s society comprises small, close-knitted groups. Roads, bridges, water transport, and power grids are all basic infrastructure necessary for the survival of ethnic nationals. The Union and its citizens need to support each other so they can both develop and ensure their progress is sustainable.
In her address at the stake-driving ceremony of the Thanlwin Bridge (Tarsan) on 6 February, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said: “We must make consistent efforts to maintain peace and stability in order to ensure national sustainability. I encourage you to foster the Union spirit wherever you go. It is up to everyone to maintain the Union, strengthen it daily, and make repairs where necessary.”
The Union of Myanmar is a physical construct that is susceptible to gradual wear and tear. If the infrastructure is allowed to deteriorate, ethnic nationals living in the Union will face a lot of difficulties. Therefore, we must work together to preserve the Union and prevent it from reaching a state of complete deterioration.
The Thanlwin River flows through Shan State and serves as a means of transport, livelihood, agriculture, and energy. There are nine major bridges along the river, five of which are in Shan State. Of the five bridges, the Kunlong Bridge and Takaw Bridge are about 50 years old and worn down. Thus, the relevant departments and the public need to cooperate to prevent the bridges from collapsing.
Now, another bridge has been constructed to help ethnic nationals in their socio-economic endeavors. Once it is completed, the Tarsan Bridge will ensure better transportation between the southern and eastern parts of Shan State. It will also link Namhsan-Mongnai-Mongton-Monghsat all the way to the border town of Tachilek. The Union is constantly working to provide basic infrastructure, such as the bridge, to support the people of the country.
Before we started on the track to development, our roads and bridges were built by the collective strength of the people. We had to perform duties for the betterment of our own lives. Now, as the government carries out infrastructure construction projects, we all need to chip in to maintain the infrastructure to ensure sustainable development. This is the essence of the Union spirit, and we need to implement it throughout the country.

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