NLD govt sticks with previous govt’s ‘new city’ plan

As recently as May, the Yangon Region government was prepared to cancel the southwestern portion of the Greater Yangon Development Plan 2014 if a review of the plan found that it would not sufficiently benefit the city’s inhabitants.

However, that prospect was discarded this week when Yangon mayor Maung Maung Soe told the regional parliament that the plan for the southwest, which includes Twante, Seikgyi Khanaungto and Kyimyindaing townships, will proceed as the previous government planned.

The project was first introduced in 2014 by then-chief minister Myint Swe. It soon came under fire after it was announced that a company with almost no public profile was awarded the tender for the $15 billion JICA-funded project. The project was then passed to three other companies that courted their own controversy over the lack of transparency with which they conducted land confiscations and compensations.

Now, the Yangon Region government has decided to prioritize the improvement of living standards for the city’s inhabitants over the questionability of the companies that will be implementing the project.

“If these companies cannot implement our master plan, we will work together with other companies,” the mayor told the regional parliament.

The new development is slated to bring housing, business and public spaces to over 11,000 acres southwest of Yangon. There are also plans for a new bridge across the Hlaing River and a new port at Nga Yoke Kaung beach in Ayeyawady Region.

Yangon’s population is projected to reach 10 million by 2040.

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