Urban development project commences upon approval

Construction of Phase 1 of the Amarapura Urban Development Project in Mandalay has commenced after receiving approval from the Mandalay regional government, said U Za Ye Win, information officer of Mandalay Business Capital City Development (MBCCD), which is the developer of the project.

“The government plans to approve the project in phases,” U Zaw Ye Win told The Myanmar Times on Sunday.

The project, which is part and parcel of a bigger plan to modernise Mandalay, will be developed over 2,000 acres of reclaimed land along the Ayeyarwady River, south of Mandalay, in Amarapura township.

The land was made available under Land-Use Form 105, which allows MBCCD to use and develop Phase 1 of the project.

An MOU between MBCCD, which is owed by local businessman U Maung Wate, and Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) was signed, giving MCDC a 25 percent stake in the project.

When complete in 10 years, the project will include modern hotels, hospitals, schools, jetties, shopping centres, gardens and apartment buildings, creating job opportunities for about 10,000 people.

Work in progress

MBCCD is investing K500 billion in the project but will continue to raise the necessary funds by selling company shares and seeking bank loans.

“The firm has applied for a public firm registration to Directorate of Investment and Company Administration. When approved, we will start selling shares. It is quite difficult to guess when it can start but we will go according to the procedures,” he continued.

In the meantime, public road upgrades, repairs at existing buildings and construction new ones are being conducted. Meanwhile, a waste water factory in Nge Toe ward has been upgraded at a cost of 5,000 lakh and transferred to MCDC.

Now, work is being done to prepare the necessary infrastructure along the river. “As construction materials will be transported via river, we will have to consult with the Department of Water Resources and improvement of river systems for the boats to enter.” said U Zaw Ye Win.

At the same time, design plans for upgrading the circular city road from 4 lanes to 6 lanes are in progress with local and foreign experts

“Ground leveling in Phase 1 has been done with a foreign company and construction materials like stones and sand have been piled at the site. Ditches for good drainage will also be included.” U Zaw Ye Win said.

No local protest

Amarapura is the native town of Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung. While there are other ongoing development projects in Amarapura, including a fuel storage tank project on Ayeyarwady river bank and a $ 38 million jetty upgrading project in Mandalay, the Amarapura Urban Development Project will be one of the biggest in the region.

As development will take place on alluvial lands and impact villages, MBCCD will buy the lands at market price or provide developed land in the project to compensate those who don’t want to sell their land.

“When upgrading the roads, squatters are a problem. They are living on the streets. We have been telling them to relocate into the labour quarters we have arranged for them,” U Zaw Ye Win said.

“So far, there have not been any local protests against the project. However, as we are building on reclaimed land, some are concerned that it will cause floods in their area. But if systematically implemented with the advise of the experts, all will be good,” said U Myint Swe, an MP from Amarapura constituency.

Source : Myanmar Times

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