Thingyan’s Pandal permits to be revealed

Yangon authorities will announce next week how many pandals will be set up for this year’s water festivities. Applicants have until tomorrow to put in their request, and the winners will be drawn by lot and announced on March 17, said the city’s development committee.

All pandal construction must be completed at least three days before the festival begins.

U Soe Thein Aung, deputy head of the Engineering Department of the Yangon City Development Committee, said most applicants want to build along Kabar Aye Pagoda and Pyay roads. He said the number permitted would only be announced with the list of winners.

YCDC has drawn up 44 regulations for organisations sponsoring pandals, the temporary wooden structures built along the roadside during the festival for partying, advertising and splashing purposes.

Application forms are available at township administration offices and should be submitted to the engineering department, along with design plans signed by a supervising engineer, as well as a photograph and contact details of the sponsor.

For a big pandal – up to 120 by 40 feet (35 by 12.5 metres) and 20 feet (6m) high – sponsors will be charged a K10 million bond, to be redeemed after April 22. The charge for a medium-sized pandal, up to 99 by 30 feet and 16 feet high, is K6 million. The pledge will cover any fines imposed for breaches of the rules, which could amount to half the bond. Fines will also be levied, at the rate of K1 million per 10 feet, for building the pandal too big. Last year the committee took K500,000 in fines, which are also imposed for any damage to the roadway, pavements or drains.

CCTV must be installed at pandals no later than noon on April 10, and footage made available to the authorities no later than 8pm every day of the festival. Pandals may operate only between 7am and 6pm.

This year’s water festival officially starts on April 13 and runs until April 17 – Myanmar New Year’s Day.

Last year, the department allowed 57 big pandals and 36 medium-sized pandals, while in 2013 there were 41 and five respectively.

Source: Myanmar Times

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