Mandalay city government makes big strides

Three years since the current Mandalay city government led by Mayor Ye Lwin took, residents and officials noted a big change in the country’s second largest urban area.

No doubt, many things still need to be done, but changes are noticeable. Rubbish collection has vastly improved, keeping the city relatively clean. Streetlights have been erected, drains cleaned and unclogged reducing floods, and most importantly, crime has declined.

“Mayor U Ye Lwin is working very hard for the good of the city,” said regional legislator U Myint Aung Moe, from Chan Mya Tharzi. “We are satisfied with his performance.”

The improvement did not escape the eyes of the international community, which recognised Mandalay as among the 10 most promising smart cities in the region.

One thing that works for the city is the bold decision of the government to embrace technology to increase efficiency.

For example, the traffic control system has been fully computerised using intelligent sensors that feed directly to the traffic monitoring and control room in order to make quick adjustments in the traffic lights. There were also cameras installed in traffic lights. GPS systems were installed on garbage trucks to ensure real time monitoring of garbage collection.

“Undeveloped areas like Chan Mya Tharzi township have changed over last three years and they are now fairly different compared to 2015,” U Myint Aung Moe.

He also noted an increase in the construction of new roads as well as rehabilitation and expansion of the old ones in order to improve the flow of traffic.

The legislator cited the better relationship between the residents and the Mandalay City Development Committee, with the public donating to fund construction for more streetlights.

“The public thought MCDC is working for the people so they made contributions and the city has now developed rapidly,” said U Myint Aung Moe.

U Kyaw San Myint, a member of the MCDC, said it has become easier to secure the cooperation of the people.

“The public trusts in MCDC and want to cooperate with MCDC for works which are beneficial to the community,” he said.

Using his Facebook page, Mayor Ye Lwin communicates to his constituencies constantly, adding to the better relations between the city government and the people.

Whenever a community has some issues, such as garbage collection, clogged drainage or traffic, they can post their concerns on the mayor’s Facebook page and the problem is addressed immediately.

In the same manner, when the mayor sought donations for constructions of new signposts and streetlamps, the reply was just as fast with donations reaching billions of kyat.

“This is social media age. With just a click on your computer or smart phone you can get in touch with anybody,” said Ko Wan an executive of a charity group from Mandalay. “People from all classes can have access to the city officials through social media.”

“I am satisfied right now. I really give high marks to the MCDC,” he added.

U Myint Aung Moe, however, underscored the need for a master plan for the whole city.

“If we have some kind of a system, Mandalay’s six townships will develop much better. We just need a plan as there might be problems arising without one,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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