Yangon minister vows to tackle power cuts, traffic jams and squatting


Yangon’s new regional government will make tackling the city’s regular power shortages its top priority, the region’s minister for planning and finance has said.

Myint Thaung put debilitating power cuts at the top of a list of three major challenges facing Myanmar’s commercial hub, with increasingly gridlocked traffic and squatting being the second and third priorities.

“Power demand exceeds supply in Yangon”, he said. “The sector should be able to satisfy demand as hydropower plants can produce more power in the rainy season. We need to repair and replace old cable lines. And sub-power stations are outdated.”

“We are ok when we have the round-the-clock access to electricity,” said one woman from Thingangyun township. “We face many difficulties due to frequent power cuts.”

Solving worsening traffic jams was the government’s second priority, Myint Thaung said. “The first thing we have to do is draft a master plan. Then the Yangon Transportation Plan will be put under the master plan,” he added, referring to a multi-billion dollar scheme to overhaul the region’s desperately neglected transport infrastructure.

The Yangon regional government is going to a transport authority which will deal with the matters relating to traffic jam, passenger buses, circular trains and marine transport. The Yangon City Development Committee has said work on elevated roads and ring roads is set to start before 2018.

Myint Thaung also vowed to confront what he referred to as “the squatter problem.” He said: “We need to collect lists of squatters and find out the reasons for and patterns of squatting.”

He claimed that “some people are squatting for commercial reasons” but said “we find it difficult to identify whether people are real squatters or not.”

 

Source: Myanmar Eleven

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