Yangon’s parks now off-limits to private sector, claims official

No automatic green-light will be given for the opening of beer pubs, shopping centres and other business projects in the parks of Yangon, including the People’s Square, according to an official from the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

“In the time of our former mayor, the YCDC allowed private entrepreneurs to turn the parks into beer pubs and shopping centres,” he added.

There are 33 townships, 63 parks (two parks in one township on average) and 99 sports grounds (three in one township) in the Yangon municipal area, according to the YCDC.

During the rein of mayor Aung Thein Lin, the YCDC gave the green-light to three companies (Natural World, Happy Zone and other company) to develop projects on more than 60 of 100 acres of lands in the People’s Park and Square, located opposite of Shwedagon Pagoda.

“This happened in the time of the former mayor. Since then, the YCDC will not give these kind of permits to the entrepreneurs anymore,” the official said.

The official also denied reports the YCDC will hand over Kan Thar Yar Park and Myaing Hay Won Park to private firms.

During his tenure, the former mayor granted permission for entrepreneurs to open establishments in big parks, such as Kan Taw Min, Myaing Hay Wun, Mya Kyung Tha and also Kandawgyi park in the commercial hub of Yangon.

Out of about 63 parks, many are not even big enough to conduct any sports and recreation.

In addition, the YCDC has turned some sports grounds into housing and allowed private entrepreneurs to develop markets and lands located in strategic locations.

For example, the YCDC turned a park in Yankin township into a housing development.

In the time of incumbent Myint Swe, Yangon Region chief minister, the YCDC handed over Theinbyu sports ground-turned driving compound, to the Asia Myanmar Consortium Development Company.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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