Govt reserves land for Rakhine state SEZ

The government has set aside 1708 hectares (4289.32 acres) for the future Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone in Rakhine State, parliament heard on December 3.

Deputy rail minister U Myint Thein, the chair of the Kyaukphyu SEZ management committee, said the zone would comprise two deep-sea ports of 148 hectares and 95 hectares in extent respectively, a 978-hectare industrial zone and a high-end housing project covering 494 hectares.

“We invited tenders in accordance with internationally recognised procedures. The assessment of bids is now complete, and we are proceeding toward negotiation in detail,” the deputy minister told MPs.

The industrial zone site and associated housing are located in southern Kyaukphyu township. The first deep- sea port is north of Ma De island, and the second port is north of Yan Byal island. Care had been taken to avoid villages, roads and residential areas, said U Myint Thein.

“The administration committee of the special economic zone will prioritise regional development,” he said.

Local residents have been invited to join a monitoring group that will watch out for any potential social, economic or environmental damage, said the deputy minister, adding that the SEZ was a long-term development project that enjoyed public support and would provide local job opportunities.

The Regional Master Plan also envisages a special agricultural zone in Rambre township and a tourism zone centred on the natural environment of Manaung township. The plans are based on a research paper drafted jointly by a Japanese engineering consultant and Chiyoda Corporation covering Yangon, Mandalay, coastal Dawei, Kyaukphyu and borders areas, said U Myint Thein.

Asking why the project was being reported so late in the outgoing government’s term, Pyithu Hluttaw MP U Win Oo for Yephyu township, Tanintharyi Region, said, “Now that the zone has been demarcated, will there be a supplementary budget request to cover compensation to landowners and site preparation?”

The debate continues.

Source: Myanmar Times

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