President U Htin Kyaw, First Lady Daw Su Su Lwin and other officials attended the opening ceremony of Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun) over the Kasankha River near Nawngmun Township, Putao District, Kachin State yesterday morning.
In his comments at the ceremony, Union Minister U Win Khaing said bridges and roads in Kachin State are being built with Union funds, State funds and pledges 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 yesterday 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, said the Union Minister.
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, officials said.
Ethnic brothers and sisters from Putao District are requested to maintain and protect the Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun) built up to standards by the Ministry of Construction so that it can be used for a long time, said the Union Minister.
State Chief Minister Dr. Khat Aung pointed out that the Putao-Machanbaw-Nawngmun road is 73 miles, 5 furlongs long and it took more than 12 hours to travel by car. The Htikha River, Htakha River, Ba Bawt River, and Yat Bawt River between Machanbaw and Nawngmun are spanned by suspension bridges that have a load capacity of only a ton, allowing only motorcycles and pedestrians to cross it. Ba Bawt Bridge will be completed this fiscal year and Yat Bawt Bridge is located where the river is deepest and widest. It is very difficult to cross during the rainy season and, even during the times when there isn’t much water, food and supplies are sent across with much difficulty.
Now that the Machanbaw-Nawngmun road section is being expanded and hard surfaced by the road department, the trip by car will take only about 4 hours, and the Putao-Nawngmun trip can be made in a single day.
Funds are being allocated for Htikha Bridge and Htakha Bridge in fiscal year 2018-2019 and once these bridges are completed, Putao-Nawngmun road can be travelled by both big and small cars in all types of weather.
As road communication improves and becomes safer, the flow of goods into the region will increase, and regional products can be transported regardless of the season. This will improve the economy, health, education, social access and all sectors for the local populace. In other words, individual income will increase as the living standard rises and much benefits will soon be gained by the local populace said the Chief Minister.
A local person then gave words of thanks for building the Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun). Afterwards, Union Minister U Win Khaing, Chief Minister Dr. Khat Aung, State Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Khan Lin, State Minister of Road, Communication, Electricity and Industry U Win Nyunt, State Minister of Rawang Ethnic Affairs U Yan Nan Phone, ethnic Lisu national U Moe Shwe and Special Bridge (1) Group Deputy Director U Kyaw Zin Htway opened the Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun) by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.
President U Htin Kyaw and wife then unveiled the commemorative pillar of Yat Bawt Bridge (Nawngmun) by pressing a button, after which President U Htin Kyaw, wife and party sprinkled scented water on the commemorative pillar.
Finally, President U Htin Kyaw and party together with ethnic nationals crossed and inspected the bridge.
In the afternoon, the President and wife arrived in Khaunglanphu Town and met with township departmental officials and locals in the township hall.
In the meeting, the President said that in the past it took more than 12 days using motorcycles and other means to reach Khaunglanphu, and now it can be reached within a day. Good roads are required for the economy to develop. Peace and rule of law is also required.
The main requirement of road communication is being conducted by Ministry of Border Affairs, Ministry of Construction and Tatmadaw Engineering Corp., said the President.
“Our country has many scenic areas. It is quite difficult to reach some of these northern regions. But, despite this, people in these areas have maintained the honour of their people and lived loyally while loving and cherishing the place. I greatly commend these people. I hope and pray that they will continue to live, love and cherish their place and become a force of our country. Later on, requirements including health, education and electricity will be fulfilled and provided”, said the President.
The Khaunglanphu Township commissioner reported on the region and submitted the requirements for regional development, after which the President donated Ks10 million for Khaunglanphu regional development that was accepted by the township commissioner.
Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Ye Aung also donated a set of computers for Khaunglanphu Township High School, which was accepted by the headmistress of the school.
The President and party went to Nawngmun Town to be entertained by cultural troupes, then returned to Putao Town in the evening.
Yesterday’s ceremony in Putao was also attended by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Sein Win, Lt-Gen Ye Aung, U Win Khaing, State Chief Minister Dr. Khat Aung, Northern Command commander Maj-Gen Nyi Nyi Swe, State Hluttaw Deputy Speaker U Khan Lin, Deputy Minister U Kyaw Lin, state ministers, Hluttaw representatives, state, district and township level officials, invited guests and local populace.