New city project suspended indefinitely, says Yangon mayor

A controversial US$8 billion project to build a new city on Yangon’s western outskirts has been indefinitely suspended by the Yangon region government.

The decision to suspend the project was announced in the Yangon regional hluttaw from Yangon Mayor U Hla Myint on September 26.

Asked how long the project had been suspended, U Hla Myint said there was no time limit.

The decision was revealed ahead of a special session of the regional hluttaw to debate the project following an outcry at a lack of transparency over a contract awarded by the regional government to a little known company to build the planned new city.

The outcry erupted after Yangon Chief Minister U Myint Swe advised the regional hluttaw on August 22 that the project had been awarded to the Myanmar Say Ta Nar Myothit Public Co., Ltd.

The regional government subsequently decided on August 28 to put the project to open tender.

In a pledge to the regional hluttaw on September 22, U Hla Myint said tendering for the project would be transparent if it was approved at the special sitting called for four days later.

The decision to suspend the project was welcomed by Yangon regional MP Daw Nyo Nyo Thin (Independent, Bahan 2), an outspoken critic of the lack in transparency in the deal announced by U Myint Swe on August 22.

“This is good news for the people,” Daw Nyo Nyo Thin, told Mizzima on September 26.

“Transparency is not enough; there must also be accountability,” she said.

The project had involved building 20,000 low-cost housing units on about 30,000 acres on land bordered by the Hlaing and Pun Hlaing rivers and the Twante canal.

Source: MIZZIMA Myanmar

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