19 Oct 18 - Myanmar Times - Work on the development of Mandalay Port is set to begin early next year, says the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems.
The project, which is aimed at improving trade and transportation along inland waterways, will be implemented with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under an agreement signed on October 3, U Aung Myo Khaing, director of the directorate, said.
"At present, there is no modern port on the Ayeyarwady River. When the project is completed, the flow of goods and passengers along the river will be greatly improved thanks to better port facilities and container handling systems. This in turn will lower the transportation cost of goods," U Aung Myo Khaing said.
The project will be built on 8.1 hectares of land located one kilometre west of Mandalay city, behind the city's circular road and Shwe Lone Bo Monastery.
Tenders will be called in Japan for the construction and purchasing of machinery next month. Myanmar will supply electricity to the site, clear land, and help in other work.
The directorate has conducted surveys of the farms presently located at the site so that the land can be acquired and compensation paid, he added.
"When we first conducted the surveys, there were three original owners, but now the land has been included in the Amarapura Urban Development Project, so its ownership has been consolidated. We've calculated the compensation needed to buy the land, and once the tender process is completed, we can begin construction," he said.
JICA is providing US$53.8 million (K837 billion) in funding, while the Myanmar government is contributing K82.96 billion to the project, which envisions a new port with container storage, cargo warehouses, pier bridges, approach bridges, and cargo-handling machinery.
Mandalay is a strategic city for transport and is just 450 kilometres from China's border. Although trade is conducted via water routes from Mandalay to other cities in Myanmar, lack of development means manual labour is often used for handling cargo.