Confusion Over Water Transport Service Implementation Arises

The government has chosen the company which will operate the water bus service on the Hlaing River and Nga Moe Yeik Creek, said Daw Nilar Kyaw, regional minister of electricity, industry and transportation, on May 22 at a regional parliamentary session.

The company Tint Tint Myanmar won the tender over its competitor, Daw Nilar Kyaw told fellow lawmakers at the parliamentary session.

The firm said that it will operate the system with water vehicles imported from Australia and Thailand. It is also building its own ships at a dock in the country, and hopes to begin operations in the second week of June.

But there is a little contradiction between the statements from the Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) and the company.

MP Daw Sandar Min was seeking an explanation from the relevant authorities on how the winner in the tender process was selected.

“I support this project. But there are differences between the details from the spokesperson of the YRTA and from the winning company.

“According to YRTA, they will use ships which can carry 50-100 passengers along Hlaing River and the ships which can carry 50-60 passengers along the Nga Moe Yeik Creek. And the YRTA is still investigating the jetty to be built,” the lawmaker said.

But Tint Tint Myanmar has imported ships from Thailand, Australia and Jordan which can carry 130-300 passengers. For the initial phase of the scheme, 25-35 ships will run and serve the passengers. The firm is also building ships at Sate Gyi Khanaung To dock with technicians from Australia and Hungary. It was estimated that one ship costs US$1.3 million, Daw Sandar Min added.

The new government decided to implement the water transport scheme for passengers and goods in order to reduce the gridlocks on land and improve the public transport system. The scheme was led by U Charlie Than, a member of the YRTA who has done field visits in collaboration with Myanmar Port Authority.

“U Charlie Than is the former principal of Yangon Institute of Marine Technology and currently the president of Myanmar Engineering Council. After the field visit, we selected the jetties which are close to the bus stops,” Daw Nilar Kyaw said.

The government selected Tint Tint Myanmar based on the prices for tickets, the expertise and qualifications of those in the company, the minister further explained.

“We have checked the type of ships carrying the passengers, the safety plan for passengers, the insurance plan for ships and passengers and other details such as the employment opportunities created and environmental impact, in accordance to the guidelines from the department of marine administration at the Ministry of Transport,” she said.

For phase one of the scheme, the ships will run from Insein township to Botahtaung township. The company will cover the costs of building new jetties and repairing the old vehicles.

Daw Sandar Min said that she went to Sate Gyi Khanaung To dock to examine the ship-building process. But the ships seemed to be shuttles being used in Chindwin River and she did not think those were safe for passengers.

 

Source: The Myanmar

 

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