Ayeyarwady River navigation project to start in February


Source: The Myanmar Times

Date: 22 January, 2018

Construction work will begin in February as part of the Ayeyarwady River Navigation Enhancement Plan from Mandalay to Nyaung-U.

The construction is one of three focuses of the Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Project (AIRBMP), which will be implemented by the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems (DWRIRS) and Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

About US$38million will be spent on the navigation enhancement plan in Mandalay and Nyaung-U from a $100 million loan by the World Bank for the project.

As part of the plan, repair work of riverbank erosion will be started in February, the project's manager U Aung Myo Khine said on Thursday.

"Mandalay's water transport channel has to improve. The project includes two phases. For the first phase, we will work to retain the riverbank and for this we have a tender and we expect to start in February. In the second phase, we will construct concrete barriers on the riverbed to reduce the speed of the water, which is expected to start in December," said U Aung Myo Khine.

For the Mandalay-Nyaung-U navigation enhancement project, assessment of environmental and social impact started in April 2017, and measurement of the water and air quality of the river has been completed at villages and islands in Mingun and near Sagaing Bridge, said U Aung Myo Khine.

The project will feature navigation enhancements, construction of retaining walls, construction of concrete barriers for the riverbed, digging sandbanks, setting up modern navigation signs, repairing the navigation channel and conducting a feasibility study on the environmental impact, which will be carried out in the upper and lower streams.

After identifying three locations on the navigation channel from Mandalay to Nyaung-U, six concrete poles will be located on the riverbed to erect concrete barriers.

"On the navigation channel from Mandalay to Nyaung-U, we have planned to set up about 210 navigation signs. Residents accept this plan. They may lose their agricultural land due to riverbank erosion. For this, we will carry out preventative measures against erosion," he said.

Currently ships can travel the Mandalay-Nyaung-U channel only during the daytime because no navigation signs have been installed, which would allow night travel.

The Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Project features water resource management institutions, information and capacity building, hydrologic observation and modern information systems, and Ayeyarwady River navigation enhancement for the channel from Mandalay to Nyaung-U.

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