Yangon Region OKs controversial new town project

A map show a site for implementation of new satellite town of Yangon.
A map show a site for implementation of new satellite town of Yangon.

Yangon, 15 June —The Yangon Region parliament in a 100 to 10 vote Monday approved a town plan for a contentious development in southwestern Yangon that has been tied to money laundering and criticized for a lack of transparency.
The new town plan is one of seven modern housing projects of the Greater Yangon Development Strategic Plan 2040 designed by the Yangon Region Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The seven modern housing projects will be established on more than 100,000 acres of land on the outskirts of Yangon and accommodate more than 10 million people.
The new town project approved by parliament Monday will be established on 11,716 acres between the Panhlaing River and the Twantay-Yangon Canal and between the Hlaing River and Hlaingthaya-Twantay Road in southwestern Yangon.
MP Dr Nyo Nyo Thin of Bahan Township Constitutency during the debate in parliament said the project should not be implemented at present, as the country’s financial situation is not stable.
She said the project lacked transparency and noted that it was suspended last September after being tied to money laundering disclosed by the local media.
Mayor U Hla Myint said the project will ensure transparency and the Yangon Region government will invite tenders for its development.
As the plans are for the long term, the seven projects will not contribute to financial instability in Myanmar, the mayor said.
During the debate, some MPs seconded the plan, calling for establishment of the new town to help local people and address the rising population in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, which has more than 5 million people and is experiencing annual increases of 2.6 percent.—GNLM

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