Mon 4 Feb 2013
Filed under: Business / Trade,Inside Burma,News
A five-year development plan for Yangon will cost US$2.245 billion to implement, with the government of Japan likely to provide a low-interest $500 million loan, according to Yangon City project director Toe Aung.
The Urban Development Program in Greater Yangon project (2013-18) is being drafted by the Yangon City Development Committee and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Two interim reports on the project have been released since household surveys were conducted last year, the first in December and the second last month. The final report is expected by year-end.
After it is completed, it will be submitted to the Japanese government to consider a low-interest loan of up to $500 million as well as financial assistance of up to $200 million, Toe Aung said.
The second interim report identified four areas where urgent action should be taken in the short and medium term: transportation for people, water supply, garbage disposal and cargo transportation. To ease traffic congestion the report stressed the need to build flyovers and subways and to upgrade rail systems.
It also called for an upgrade of the water-supply system to meet the needs of a rising population and urged authorities to seek new sources of fresh water, ensure an effective and efficient distribution system, reduce waste water, and establish an effective water-tax collection system.
The report prioritised improving garbage disposal systems and expanding ports to ease cargo transport.
When completed, a strategic urban development plan for Greater Yangon will include a review of existing conditions, the results of an extensive household survey, a socio-economic framework, a vision and strategy for sustainable development, and the urban infrastructure development framework.
The need for such a plan is underscored by forecasts that the city’s population will double by 2040, to about 10 million people. The urban development project’s interim reports noted that Yangon could not provide its current population of about five million with enough energy and water. Shortfalls in vital services such as transportation, garbage disposal and sewage were also identified. Housing is limited as well, the reports said.