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Thiri Mingalar Shut-Down Order Draws Focus on Yangon’s Traffic, Car-Park Shortage Problems

Car brokers are lobbying for the government to provide an alternative compound at Mingalardon Township that is large enough and conducive for them to do business. This, after the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) ordered the Thiri Mingalar car centre in Ahlone Township shuttered on August 16.

In fact, plans for such a compound to be provided were already laid out two years ago, with little progress on that front. ‘’We have already appealed to the Yangon Regional Government to provide a single compound for car trading in Yangon at Mingalardon Township two years ago.  To be sure, under the new government, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has said she will open a car trading compound in South Dagon Township. But business has yet to start after one year,” said U Aung Than Win, chair of the Automobile Trade Association.

Currently, there are a total of 21 car trading compounds with a combined inventory of 6,000 vehicles in Yangon Region. The compounds are open from 6am to 6pm and cars are driven to and from the various compounds each day, which adds to the city’s traffic problems. As such, having a single, centralised compound will help eliminate traffic congestion.

Parking problems

It will also help solve the city’s parking shortage problems. “Some car brokers do not remove their cars from a compound because they are worried that they will not be able to find another parking space later. That creates parking shortages for other vehicles entering the compound,” said car broker U Zaw Wait.

In addition, cars are not allowed to park at the compounds overnight. At Thiri Mingalar centre, the parking fee for one car is K200 but if owners break the rules and park there overnight, the fine is K10,000. “So, we are forced to hire parking lots, keep the cars moving on the roads or park them at home,” saud U Zaw Wait.

As such, car dealers and brokers want the government to build a single international-standard car trade compound outside of Yangon City. “We need an area where there is enough space to park. If we can have a compound that is big enough for about 6,000 cars, we can park the cars in that compound 24 hours a day without needing to go on the road,” car brokers said.

Dangerous building

The need for a proper compound was drawn further into focus after the YCDC ordered the Thiri Mingalar car sales centre shuttered last week, citing problems which rendered the building dangerous. Brokers were told to move their vehicles to other compounds.

‘’The Thiri Mingalar market was built in 1997 and has been in use for the past 20 years. It has the capacity to hold up to 2,000 vehicles. Now, the building is no longer able to handle anymore vehicles. We have warned the brokers and car owners to avoid this dangerous situation and find another compound. We can’t be responsible for the loss if they do not move in time,” said U Maung Maung Zaw, Head of the Planning Department at the YCDC.

However, an alternative compound was not provided and brokers have demanded an extension of time to move. ‘’As far as I know, the Automobile Trade Association is in discussions with the YCDC to extend the time required for us to move. It’s right that we need to move if the building is not strong enough but we need more time, at least until October, to move,” said U Zaw Wait.

This is not the first time the YCDC has issued abrupt orders for car brokers to vacate existing compounds. In the past, brokers were forced to vacate the Hanthawaddy compound for the Minyekyawswar compound in Lanmadaw Township. When the cars increased beyond that compound’s capacity, brokers moved to the Batar car trade compound in Hlaing Township. ‘’I heard that YCDC will give us a new compound enough for just 150 vehicles. That is not enough at all. For now, we will continue to park at Thiri Mingalar. We will follow the government’s orders but we can’t do it now,” said U Aung Than Win.

 

Source: Myanmar Times

 

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