Vice President U Henry Van Thio toured the Sagaing Region on Thursday and Friday, inspecting road upgrading projects, dams and border checkpoints.
At a meeting at Chindwin Guest House in Monywa on Thursday, the Vice President met with Sagaing Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing and region government ministers. At the meeting, Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing explained the road, bridge and regional development works, with Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lin providing additional explanations.
After listening to the presentations, the Vice President gave comments and provided instructions for proper coordination for successful implementation of the works.
Mu River Bridge (YeU) project needs transparency for local people
On Friday, U Henry Van Thio, accompanied by Sagaing Region Chief Minister Dr. Myint Naing and deputy ministers, left Monywa by car and arrived in the town of YeU to inspect the project site where the Mu River Bridge (YeU) will be constructed.
Deputy Minister U Kyaw Lin gave a briefing about the project, and the Vice President remarked on the importance of transparency and informing local people so that the project could be understood.
Upgrading of Yargyi-Kalewa Road and its 69 bridges
The Vice President and party then inspected the upgrading of YeU-Kalewa road. The Vice President inspected the construction of a rock-lined retaining wall between YeU-Kalewa road mile post 53/0 and 53/6 and provided necessary instructions.
The Vice President and party then arrived at the Special Road (7) guesthouse, where officials from Punj Lloyd-Varaha Infra Ltd (JV) Company and NCSL-MTDCL JV Company briefed him about the upgrading of the 75-mile, 5-furlong section of Yagyi-Kalewa Road and the upgrading of 69 bridges on Kalewa-Tamu road with the support of the Government of India.
Monywa-Yagyi-Kalewa road is 115 miles, 5 furlong long. A 40-mile section from Monywa will be upgraded by the Myanmar Government under a BOT system and the remaining 75-mile, 5-furlong section will be upgraded with US$181 million supported by the Government of India. The 69 bridges on Kalewa-Tamu road will be upgraded with US$54 million from the Government of India. The project will commence in 2018 and will be completed in 2020.
The Tamu-Kalewa-Monywa road section is on the main road that connects India, Myanmar and Thailand, and will greatly benefit the flow of goods in the region.
Afterwards, the Vice President presented Ks10 million for regional development works in Kalewa Township, which was accepted by Amyotha Hluttaw representative U Ko Ko Naing.
Following this, the Vice President and party inspected the bridges on Kalewa-Tamu road.
Silt to be dredged out of Yazagyo Dam
In the afternoon, the Vice President arrived at the Yazagyo Dam multi-purpose project, where Irrigation and Water Utilization Management Department Director General U Kyaw Myint Hlaing gave a brief about electricity generation, water distribution, silt entry into the dam, the status of water overflowing the spillway, works conducted to increase water storage capacity and maintenance of the dam. In response to the explanations, the Vice President spoke of removing silt from the dam to achieve full storage capacity, conducting systematic reviews before the actual silt removal work, using the best methods, coordinating the use of the silt in agriculture, preparing to increase the water supply for agriculture works and taking special care in maintaining the dam because severe weather occurs in the region every year.
The Vice President inspected the spillway and then went on to Khampat town, where he met with the local populace.
Border Trade with India
After the meeting, the Vice President and party went to the Tamu-Moreh border trade post on the India-Myanmar border, where Department of Trade Deputy Director U Moe Zaw Oo explained the yearly trade situation, export of new items, works conducted to speed up trade and requirements.
The Vice President said Manipur State has a population of more than 2.5 million, who depend upon goods from mainland India and exports from the Myanmar side. As such there is an opportunity to increase exports, all need to work together toward increasing the amount of exports. The market requirement of the other side needs to be continuously observed and, in addition to trade, travel business needs to be considered. Departments from the two countries are to coordinate changes that would result in ease of obtaining visas, said the Vice President.
Afterwards, the Vice President inspected the site where the Tamu border crossing gate building will be constructed.
From there, the Vice President met with local authorities and people at the Tamu District General Administrative Department.
Opportunity for tourism
At this meeting, the Vice President said a Myanmar-India agreement on border crossing was signed on 11 May, and Tamu and Rihkhawdar exit/entry border gates were opened on 8 August. Previously, there were four international exit/entry border gates at Kawthoung, Myawady, Tachilek and Tiki. With the addition of Tamu and Rihkhawdar, there are now six. Border gates support not only trade but also travel business. Starting from 1 October, Macao, Hong Kong, Japan and Republic of Korea will be permitted visa free travel and more international travellers are expected. Through travel business, much income can be earned with minimal investment, so this business needs to be developed, he said. International border gates are beneficial not only to the state/region and its people but also the country. Roads and bridges are being upgraded so trade and travel business will develop. The Vice President urged the people to use this opportunity. — MNA