JICA Updates 2040 Plan for Yangon Development

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has handed over an updated version of its 2040 master plan for Yangon’s development to the region government, which is waiting until it has received a bevy of other plans from other agencies before deciding which recommendations to adopt.

Yasushi Tanaka, the director general for JICA’s Southeast Asia and Pacific Department, handed the summary report to Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein in the final weeks of last year.

JICA first drafted the plan in 2012, but began amending it in the middle of 2016 at the request of the new government, Keiichiro Nakazawa, JICA’s chief representative in Myanmar, previously told The Myanmar Times.

The country’s largest city has changed massively since 2012, with worsening traffic among the main issues to have sprung up, according to JICA. The new version of the 2040 plan was supported by the Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) and Yangon City Development Committee.

The final report includes a short-term plan for measures to be adopted by 2020, a mid-term plan for 2025 and long term for 2035.

There are 41 priority projects under the strategic urban development part of the 2040 plan, which JICA recommends be started by 2020, with reviews and updates for priority projects every five years.

JICA also said that it would be willing to support the priority plans, although officials at the agency could not be reached for comment on the details of these projects.

Under the urban transport development component, there are 96 projects and “nine strategic actions”, which include “bus modernisation, traffic management and safety management, Transit Oriented Development, and strengthening of YRTA”, JICA said.

The Yangon Region government is already tackling several of these. A modern bus system called “BRT Lite” – based on a JICA suggestion – was adopted in 2015, and the YRTA is in the process of expanding the system to new routes run by public-private partnership firms.

There have been campaigns to promote seatbelt use in the commercial capital and JICA is helping upgrade the city’s circular railway.

But the Yangon Region government needs to consider suggestions contained in other plans for the city’s development before deciding which of JICA’s projects to adopt, Daw Nilar Kyaw, regional minister of electricity, industry and transportation, told The Myanmar Times.

“We just received the JICA report but that does not mean we will adopt the proposals for the [region] government development plan because there are other countries also drawing up [plans] for Yangon’s development,” she said.

Daw Nilar Kyaw previously told The Myanmar Times the regional government was in discussions with JICA, KOICA, France’s Agence Française de Développement and the UK’s Department for International Development in its effort to amalgamate various proposed projects into a single Yangon 2040 master plan.

She would not comment on further details of the updated JICA plan.

Yangon Region government officials told The Myanmar Times in December that they had received Union government approval for a second special economic zone near Yangon.

That project will also be connected to a new international airport and a southern seaport, according to region government MPs with knowledge of the plan.

 

Source: The Myanmar Times

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