Zone-B of Thilawa SEZ project faces delay

Phase-4 of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Zone-B project is facing delays following opposition from residents in the area, according to the Thilawa SEZ Management Committee (TSMC).

Prescribed compensation has been proposed to the 58 relocated households to make way for the project but four of the families have refused to accept them. The implementation of the project has thus been delayed, said the committee. Work on the project commenced on February 20, 2020, after a memorandum of understanding was signed among the Thilawa SEZ shareholders in November 2015.

The TMSC said negotiations on relocation between the Project Affected Households (PAHs) and officials from the Yangon Region Government, with coordination from the TSMC, have been ongoing since September 2019. “Four out of the 58 PAHs have not agreed to the compensation based on the Resettlement Work Plan (RWP) that was approved by the regional government on September 17, 2019,” they said.

Hence, some areas had been left out of the project development process. The compensation was proposed to the PAHs after a thorough evaluation of their assets, in accordance with international standards and Myanmar’s laws and guidelines. Each PAH will receive compensation which covers the cost of relocation and a house constructed in line with the agreements. PAHs are also entitled to compensation for crops, cattle, and other assets, as well as support for socially vulnerable households.

The TSMC also provides PAHs with the Income Restoration Program (IRP) designed to rehabilitate the livelihood of the households. The IRP comprises provisions of job opportunities, vocational training and microcredit, among others. Six negotiations were held by the Southern District Government Administrative Department and the regional government with the households from November 2019 to December 2020 but the four objecting families have not budged and are pressing for higher claims.

The Yangon Region Government has sent a notice letter to the PAHs on January 8, 2021, ordering the households to vacate the area. The delay in development hinders the country’s efforts in attracting foreign direct investments and socio-economic development such as the creation of job opportunities that can benefit the
region and country said the TSMC. – Translated

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Source: Myanmar Times

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