Source: The Global New Light Of Myanmar
Date: 22 January, 2018
In a bid to facilitate the mooring of vessels and ships to the Mandalay port, authorities will start work on the Mandalay waterway improvement system in February. This is one of the three programmes that is a part of the ayeyawady Integrated River Basin Management Project. It is backed by the World Bank's loan, said U Aung Myo Khaing, director of the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems (DWIR). The Mandalay waterway project area is situated between Sagaing Bridge and Mingun town. The wall construction activity for this project, at an estimated cost of US$1.07 million, is slated for February. Another project to build a concrete anchor at a cost of $2.13 million will start in December. "For the improvement of the waterway, a secondary channel will be built to lessen the inflow of water, and prevent the collapse of the water bank in villages and the destruction of farmlands. The main channel will allow water to flow in quickly and create a smooth path for the vessels. The ships and vessels can dock at the port all year round only if the Mandalay waterway system improves," said Khaing. To carry out the waterway improvement activity, the International Centre for Environment Management (ICEM) conducted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and social impact assessment (SIA) and also met locals living in the project areaOn 18 January at Aung Myin Chin Hotel in Mandalay. The EIA and SIA activities were revealed to the public and relevant matters were discussed with them. "Kyunsin and Talinesin villages situated in the project area will be in danger if the water bank collapses. The locals are encouraging the project owners to tackle this problem. They suggested cooperating with construction enterprises for a dredging activity under the supervision of a think-tank," Khaing explained. Starting from April 2017, the ICEM conducted a study tour in the project area, some 10 times, to gather the opinions of the residents. additionally, research concerning the quality of river water, underground water and air pollution was conducted.
"Water transport is cheaper than road transport. Therefore, the improvement of the Ayeyawady waterway is crucial to facilitate trade. We agreed with the initiative of the experts. However, we want a cost-effective project and do not want to waste the loan," said U Maung Maung Oo, organiser of an environmental conservation group. The Ayeyawady Integrated River Basin Management Project is being implemented with a loan of $100 million from the World Bank, which will be separate for the three programmes. The project activity for the Ayeyawady river water improvement system between Mandalay and Nyaung U is included in component 3, with a fund allocation of $36 million.