Located in the southern part of Myanmar, Taninthayi Region has plenty of mountains and hills. It is bordered by the Andaman Sea to the west and the Taninthayi mountain ranges to the east, narrowing the coastal plain.
Taninthayi Region is constituted with 18 towns including Dawei District, Myeik District and Kawthoung District. Of a total of 1,240 villages in 2017, when the department was formed, 494 villages were accessible in any season and 746 villages were accessible only in the dry season.
Due to the implementation of the Taninthayi Region Department of Rural Road Development, Ministry of Construction, a total of 706 villages can be reachable in any season in 2021.
The Region Department of Rural Road Development has been undertaking upgrade works on earthen roads to concrete ones, asphalt roads, gravel roads and reinforced roads as well as bamboo and wooden bridges to concrete and bailey bridges with the Union/Region Funds.
Living standards improvement activities
In upgrading rural roads to reduce the disparity between rural and urban living standards and to develop harmoniously in line with the Rural Development Strategic Framework, a total of 1968/6.71 miles long roads—367/2.706 concrete roads, 162/5.035 miles of asphalt road, 403/3.36 miles of gravel road, 392/2.05 miles of reinforced road, 643/1.554 miles of dirt road—have been under the upgrade scheme and it has been upgraded from 39% into 67% of the all-season-round accessible road.
The Taninthayi Region Rural Road Development Department has made efforts to upgrade a total of 789/5 miles long roads—234/1 miles of concrete road, 49/7 miles of asphalt road, 146/6 miles of gravel road and 358/7 miles of reinforced road—for the rural people to travel any season.
In terms of rural bridges, a total of 183 concrete bridges including 10 concrete bridges over 180 feet, 19 wooden bridges, 15 bailey bridges including two over 180 feet, and 494 box culverts, totalling 711 bridges have been upgraded to make it easier to cross economic, social and educational barriers and to quickly and easily access rural products to market.
The Sonsin-Gonnyinseik Road in Thayetchaung Township, which has been upgraded by the Taninthayi Region Rural Road Development Department to be a 9/3-mile-long village-to-village concrete road in Dawei District, connects the Dawei-Myeik Union Highway, benefiting nine villages and 6,775 people.
The 7/4-mile-long Kyaynyantine-Katharai-Nandawya road, 14/6-mile-long East Banlaw-Kawtaw-Thameehla-Koin-Kyauksarit-Titekan Road and the 13/4-mile-long West Banlaw-Yaypaw-Thameehla road upgraded as village-to-village roads in Myeik District will benefit 29 villages and a population of 25,221.
The 29/4-mile-long Shankoeywa Border Ring Road in Kawthoung District which was upgraded to 16/5-mile concrete road and 12/7-mile gravel road has provided 18,161 people in 9 villages who are using the road in day-to-day life.
As the department is making continuous efforts to provide convenient transportation for the rural people in Taninthayi Region, the 420-foot Pitat bailey bridge on the Pulaw-Laku-Myadaung-To Road was completed, benefiting five villages and 4,956 people. In Myeik Township, the Taungshay Bridge on the Kyaynantine-Kathari-Nandawya Road has been completed from the original wooden bridge and is now a 295-foot reinforced concrete bridge, benefiting 17 villages and 17,960 villagers. In Kawthoung Township, the 350-foot Phaungseik Bridge on the Shankoeywa Border Ring Road was built as a reinforced concrete bridge, benefiting nine villages and a population of 17,960 people.
In addition, 900-foot Payitaung-Wunpho Bailey Bridge is under construction that is expected to complete in the current fiscal year and when completed, it will benefit six villages and 6,400 people, as well as up to 33 tonnes of vehicle/cargo, will be able to pass on it. The 1,200-foot Ohntawkan reinforced concrete bridge is being built on the Bokpyin-Ohntawkan Road in Bokpyin Township that will benefit 8 villages, 1,720 households and a population of 7,834 when it is completed in the current fiscal year. The Minthan-Maunghlaw river bridge that connects Myeik Township and Kyunsu Township is under construction to benefit 18 villages and 25,430 people.
The department is making efforts to build the rural roads sustainably for the socio-economic development of the rural people so that they could transport their products to markets and travel for education, healthcare and social matters, as well as to support the national transport project.
It is also a goal of the Rural Road Development Department to make annual improvements for 80% of villages and 90% of rural people to be able to use the roads that are accessible all year round by 2030. The Ministry of Construction expanded the Department of Rural Road Development from its previous four departments on 21 July 2017 to implement these goals for the people.
The Department’s Activities
From the 2017-2018 financial year to the 2019-2020 financial year when the Department of Rural Road Development was established, 1237/4.6 miles of concrete roads, 995/5.0 miles of asphalt road, 1619/1.1 miles of gravel road, 3674/5.7 miles of reinforced road and 3957/1.6 miles of earthen road, a total of 114484/2 miles were upgraded.
Rural bridges include 1873 concrete bridges; 80 wooden bridges; 185 cable-stayed bridges/bailey bridges; 379 floodplain bridges; 5,048 box culverts totalling 7,565 bridges were upgraded.
The strategic goal of the department is to have 80% of the villages and 90% of the rural population in Myanmar by 2030 have access to rural roads, all villages with a population of 1,000 or more will be able to access rural roads by 2020; by 2025, 95% of all villages with a population of 500 or more.; by 2030, 75% of all villages with a population of more than 250 and 50% of all villages with a population of less than 250 will be accessible to all-season-round village roads.
Improvement to be continued
As the department in Taninthayi Region will continue to upgrade the roads leading to villages in the region to be accessible in any season and the work of the department becomes more successful, the production/flow of rural goods in Taninthayi Region will increase as well as socio-economic life will inevitably develop rapidly. — Cham Myae Maung/GNLM