Over 690 acres of confiscated farmland were returned to 149 farmers in MraukU District, Rakhine State, yesterday, in the presence of Vice President U Henry Van Thio.
Speaking at the ceremony, Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as Chairman of the Central Committee for Rescrutinizing Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands, said the Union Government is speeding up efforts for solving land confiscation issues by adopting a policy and 52-point road map to be able to return the abandoned farmland to former owners as early as possible.
Out of 445.67 acres relinquished by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, 423.05 acres were returned to former owners who will cultivate crops on them.
Similarly, 55 acres relinquished by battalion 374 and 375 of the Ministry of Defence, were returned to 22 farmers in Kyauktaw, out of 327 acres relinquished by the Correctional Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Myebon Township, 203.2 acres of land suitable for farming were return to 43 farmers.
“The return of farmland would decrease the number of youths who walked out of rural areas and migrated to urban areas due to labour shortage, the number of families who live in urban areas like squatters, the number of our skilled human resources who migrated to overseas,” said the Vice President.
He also stressed the need to systematically manage the land use in Myanmar as part of efforts for strengthening resources for the livelihood of the people, sustainable development and reducing the poverty in the country.
“I’d like to let you know that we are drafting the National Land Use Bill. It means we are taking steps for land use management in our country,” said the Vice President.
He encouraged the committees under the Central Committee to solve the land confiscation issues dauntlessly in accordance with the policy and processes and within the framework of the law.
The Vice President also thanked the ministries concerned for returning the land to the farmers and encouraged the farmers to boost crops till beyond sufficiency and becoming exporters.
Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu also reported on current efforts for solving land confiscation issue in Rakhine State.
Afterwards, Chief Minister U Nyi Pu presented the land use permit Form-3 to 50 farmers from Ywa Haung Taw Village from MraukU Township; Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Maj-Gen Aung Thu 23 farmers from Htaikpyinwa Village in MraukU Township and 11 farmers in Paukpinkwin Village in MraukU Township; Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw to 13 farmers from Akhasar Village and nine farmes from Latkokpin village in MraukU Township; Rakhine State Agriculture, Livestock, Forest and Mining Minister U Kyaw Lwin to 22 farmers from Myebon Township and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Brig-Gen Aung Kyaw Hoe to 22 farmers from Myaybon Township.
Visit to Shitthaung Pagoda and Koe-Thaung Temple
Following the ceremony, Vice President U Henry Van Thio visited the Shitthaung Pagoda and Koe-Thaung Temple in MraukU and presented cash donations for restoration of the ancient religious edifices.
He also visited the Ancient Archaeological Museum in MraukU.
Inspection of Teinnyo Bridge Construction Site in MraukU
During the inspection tour of Teinnyo Bridge construction site in MraukU, Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin and officials concerned reported on works being carried out.
Work on construction of the iron-reinforced bridge which links MraukU Township and Kyauktaw Township began on 15 May, 2017 and upon completion, the bridge will be 360 ft long.
Kaladan River Project
Following the visit to the bridge, Vice President U Henry Van Thio also inspected the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project which is being jointly implemented by Myanmar and India.
The project will benefit southern Chin State and economy of the country, said the Vice President. He urged the departments concerned to make efforts for success of the project which will not only benefit the trade, transportation and regional development but also the rule of law and peace in the areas.
The Kaladan Multi-Modal transport project connects the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea. It also then links the Sittwe seaport to Paletwa through the Kaladan River boat route and then from Paletwa on to Mizoram by road transport.
The project, which costs about US$484 million, involves developing Sittwe to handle 20,000-ton vessels (up from the 2,000 to 3,000-ton ships it handles at present); building six 300-ton ships to shuttle in the river route; constructing two terminals, dredging the River Kaladan from Sittway to Paletwa to improve its navigability; building an inland terminal at Paletwa where cargo will be shifted from barges to trucks; and constructing a 129-km-long highway linking Paletwa to the Indian border.
The project would boost trade between Myanmar and India and would also help Myanmar to trade not only with India but also with other foreign countries, thanks to emergence of new ports.
Upgrading 500-bed hospital in Sittway
Afterwards, Vice President U Henry Van Thio visited the construction site of a four-storey building for the Sittway’s 500-bed hospital.
During the visit to the hospital, the Vice President presented cash assistance to Ma Nurar Han from Thakkalpyin IDP Camp in Sittway, Ma Gul Arhartu from Hnetchaung IDP Cam in Pauktaw, and Ma Nwe Nwe Lin Tun from Darwai IDP Camp in Sittway receiving medical treatment at the hospital.
Tour of inspection of Satyoekya Bridge
Afterwards, Vice President U Henry Van Thio inspected the Satyoekya Bridge which is under construction over the Satyoekya Creek in Sittway and the bridge is expected to be inaugurated in February this year.
Work on construction of the bridge started on 27 December, 2016. Before returning to Nay Pyi Taw, the Vice President also held a meeting with local authorities at the Rakhine State Government’s meeting. At the meeting, he urged the authorities to make efforts for implementing the hydro power projects on the Laymyo River as the project is expected to produce about 700 MW.—MNA