Construction is now under way at a large project near Mandalay aiming to first service the city’s growing tourism industry.
Developers Myanmar Tourism Development Co were given the green light to start the project in Tada-U township, Mandalay Region in 2012, though construction had not begun because of the time it took to purchase land.
Work has now begun on the 2000-acre project, which is slated to include a hotel zone along with industrial, residential and park land, according to the firm’s chair U Yan Win.
“We have been negotiating with local villagers for two years to obtain land since we received a permit from the Mandalay Region government,” he said. Myanmar Tourism Development has now acquired the rights to 2180 acres from villagers in return for compensation, though had initially targeted acquiring 5422 acres when it announced the project in 2012.
The first step of the large development is a Hotel Zone, which will be built over the next two years. U Yan Win said up to 20 high-quality hotels could eventually be located at the site.
The development is located south of Mandalay near tourism sites, such as the historical cities of Innwa, Sagaing and Amarapura. The project hopes to take on a local feel, in part by developing only 65 percent of the total area, with the rest left fallow.
Development was slated to cost about US$560 milion in total when it was announced in 2012. As a public company, it has been selling shares, and has so far raised about K50 billion ($48.5 million).
Mandalay hotel zone chair U Myint Aung said the faster the firm is able to acquire land, the quicker the project can be developed.
“We give K10 million in compensation for 1 acre,” he said. If farmers hand over 3 acres, they will get 2400 square feet of space in the project area.”
The company had initially offered K5 or K7 million an acre, but has upped its offering to attract more villagers to sell their land.
Local villagers generally told The Myanmar Times they are in favour of the project.
U Hla Thein, a villager who has sold his land to the company, said his land had not been particularly good for farmer, adding the project will hopefully improve the area.
“We agree to take the compensation money and we welcome the project,” he said. “Actually our land is not good for agriculture and we weren’t turning a consistent profit each year – some years we lost money.”
Others were more reluctant to sell land, however.
U Thein Soe, a farmer located on more prosperous land near the Ayeyarwady River, said K10 million wasn’t enough for his high-yield land.
“I have 6 acres beside the river. I will give 3 to the company at K10 million an acre,” he said.
“Our land is worth more than K10 million, as it is very good for cultivating, so business is good. So I’m not sure whether I’ll hand over the rest.”
Source: MYANMAR TIMES