Vice President U Henry Van Thio praises Mandalay Region for topping the list among states and regions in returning confiscated lands

Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses the ceremony to return the abandoned land in TadaU Township in Mandalay Region. Photo: MNA
Vice President U Henry Van Thio addresses the ceremony to return the abandoned land in TadaU Township in Mandalay Region. Photo: MNA

Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Chairman of the Central Committee for the Development of the National Tourism Industry, inspected the Myogyi reservoir and Myogyi hydropower station and gave a speech at a ceremony for returning abandoned lands by the Mandalay International Airport, Department of Civil Aviation, under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, in TadaU Township in Mandalay Region yesterday.
The Vice President was accompanied by deputy ministers Maj-Gen Aung Thu, U Hla Kyaw and U Kyaw Myo, Shan State ministers, and the Chairman of the Leading Body of Danu Self-Administered Zone, as he inspected the Myogyi reservoir in Ywangan Township, Shan State yesterday morning.
The Vice President was then shown documentary videos about Myogyi and Zawgyi reservoirs and their irrigation distribution process, as well as the construction of Kyaingkham reservoir.
Next, Director-General U Kyaw Myint Hlaing of the Department of Irrigation and Water Utilisation Management explained about the waterlogging process in the Meiktila plains.
It is reported that the combined waterflow from Myogyi and Zawgyi reservoirs produces 30 MW of electricity and provides irrigation to 82,000 acres of Zawgyi irrigated cultivation in Kyaukse District and to the 33,000 acres in Meiktila plains.
Once the Kyaingkham reservoir is complete, it will be able to hold 1.15 million-acre feet of water and provide 700,000-acre feet to Zawgyi irrigation cultivation system and 450,000-acre feet to Pyaungpyar Ngalaizin irrigation system.
The Vice President then inspected the machinery and interior of the Myogyi hydropower station, which is equipped with two 15 MW generators with a capacity to produce 135 million units annually to the national power grid.
Next, the Vice President travelled through the Zawgyi river to the confluence where the Thitmami stream flows in and inspected the potential for developing community-based tourism in the neighboring villages.
During the inspection, the Vice President said Myanmar has abundant natural landscapes and beauty that can attract tourists. The area surrounding the Myogyi reservoir is a gift from nature with the potential to attract tourists, he said. He instructed that the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the Shan State Government, the Danu Self-Administered Zone, and tourism-oriented organizations should collaborate to implement community-based tourism and nature tourism projects.
The Vice President, as the Chairman of the Central Committee for Reviewing Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands, attended a ceremony held in Innwa Hall in TadaU Township for the second returning of abandoned land connected to the Mandalay International Airport, in Kyaukse District, Mandalay Region. During the ceremony, 3,019.44 acres of abandoned land were returned to their original owners, who were also given temporary work permits (Form-3).
In his speech delivered at the ceremony, the Vice President said the Mandalay International Airport will only retain the actual amount of land it needs and give back the remaining land to their rightful owners. He said 9,055 acres were returned in the first batch in 2014 and 3,830 acres were scrutinized before returning 3,019.44 acres to the original 1,087 villagers in this second batch.
The Vice President said there have been cases of farmland confiscated from local villagers for various urban, departmental and private projects that have worsened the livelihoods of the villagers, which is why the incumbent government is working in line within the law to administer justice with simple policies and processes so as to solve these issues.
He said four confiscated lands reviewing groups were formed with deputy ministers from union ministries to respond to reports of confiscated lands and to strengthen reviewing them. On-ground inspection in states and regions reveal that the Lands Reviewing Committees at the ward, village and township levels are not properly organized, nor are they fully aware of the 52 policies set by the central committee. The Vice President urged proper composition of the various levels of the Lands Reviewing Committees.
The central committee negotiates with relevant ministries to either relinquish lands, confiscated for projects that have not been implemented as planned, to their rightful owners, or to provide compensation, said the Vice President.
The Vice President said some cases of returning confiscated lands are being hindered due to a number of reasons including delayed return of ownership for land abandoned by ministries, relayed ownership to an entity other than the rightful owner, disputes between the original successor and current successor, and clearing of squatters.
The Vice President said Mandalay Region has conducted six ceremonies for returning confiscated lands, including the present one, making it the region with the most return rate among all states and regions. He expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mandalay Region government and various departmental officials for making the returning of land to the original owners possible. He also told the villagers to work hard and invest in their rightful land for an adequate food supply and eventually producing items for foreign exports.
This was followed by an explanation from the Mandalay Region Chief Minister on the processes involved in swiftly returning confiscated lands to their rightful owners in Mandalay Region.
U Myint Htay, Director of the Department of Civil Aviation, then transferred the documents pertaining to the abandoned lands to the Kyaukse District Administrator.
Next, the Mandalay Region Chief Minister, deputy ministers Maj-Gen Aung Thu, U Hla Kyaw and U Kyaw Myo, and the Mandalay Region Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Soe Than conferred temporary work permits (Form-3) to representatives of the original landowners from Pantin, Sagarinn, Zeechaung, and Thungetaw villages.
U Tun Lwin, a representative, expressed thanks on behalf of the villagers who received the temporary work permits and the ceremony came to a close. —Myanmar News Agency

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