Mandalay city says firms cause delay of convention centre

Mayor Dr Ye Lwin has blamed the poor design and quality in the construction of the Mandalay Convention Centre (MCC), according to a post on his Facebook page last week.

The mayor, who is also the minister for municipal affairs of the regional government visited the construction site located between 71st street and 72nd street on Theitpan Road in Chan Mya Tharsi township on September 27, and ordered some changes to the current design.

“Since I became a mayor, I instructed them to change the quality and designs of the building several times. Today (September 27), I still found errors and told them to make more than 20 corrections. I have no idea why companies which presented much better architectural designs were rejected during the tendering process,” he wrote on his Facebook.

The bidding process for the construction began under the term of former President U Thein Sein and was granted to two companies – CAD and New Star Light construction firms.

Among the 23 competitors for the project’s contract, CAD and New Star Light were selected in a bidding process in July 2013. Construction works began in November 2014. After securing the contract, the two companies established Mandalay Investment and Development Group (MIDG) and started construction works under the supervision of Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC).

Due to MCDC’s oversight on the quality and design of the building, changes were made several times, which subsequently caused delays in construction, despite its completion being initially expected for December 2015.

A regional legislator from Chan Mya Tharzi said transparency should not be ignored in the construction of the MCC as it has already taken more time than necessary.

“When we asked the mayor of what was he disappointed with, he said the building does not qualify to be a convention center, lacking essential characteristics,” said U Tin Aung, legislator for No (1) constituency of Chan Mya Tharzi township.

He said both the MCDC and the companies responsible for the construction should be held accountable.

“When we went there and inspected, the construction was not completed despite a soft-opening ceremony held under previous government’s term. I think it has taken more time than necessary due to the cycle of inspection and changes to the buildings,” he said.

While the construction was still ongoing, a soft opening ceremony for the Mandalay Convention Center was held in March 2016 before the former administration left office.

When asking to an official from the MCDC about the design and the quality referred in the post of mayor, he denied commenting.

“I submitted the facts about this project to the regional government, but they haven’t replied yet and we have not held a meeting to take a decision about it. Therefore, we cannot say anything,” Ko Kyaw Zaw Aung, member of MCDC told The Myanmar Times on October 2.

When The Myanmar Times contacted U Zin Min Swe, managing director of CAD Construction Company to inquire on the case, he said the New Star Light Company did the construction work for the building, and the design was made by US-based Gensler architectural group.

The building was four-storey, 386ft high and 305ft wide. It was constructed on a 2.36 acres land and cost US$27 million.

It has a hall that can host about 4500 people, a wedding hall with a capacity of 700 people, two show rooms, conference halls, an emergency meeting hall, an underground car parking, a central air conditioner system, elevators, escalators and high ventilation system. It was built to host seminars and wedding ceremonies.

Source: Myanmar Times

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