Yangon – Yangon regional government has stopped Yangon New Town project located in the western part of Yangon region, according to U Hla Myint, Mayor of Yangon.
Although the mayor stated in the regional assembly that the project had been postponed, when meeting with the media after the assembly, he stated, “It’s been stopped. So you should know what it means.”
In order to implement that project, the Yangon regional government had submitted a proposal to the regional assembly, and five days after on September 26th, U Hla Myint stated that the proposal has been revoked.
The regional government decided that it would need to further deliberate upon the project and thus postponed it in an assembly meeting on September 25th.
According to Dr. Nyo Nyo Thin, a regional representative and a leader of the opposition movement to the project welcomed the news about the project, which had been heavily criticized.
“I proposed to a suspension bill to the speaker of the assembly and sent 17 questions to the regional government to answer about the project. The government stopped the project probably because of these,” said Dr. Nyo Nyo Thin.
In the first week of August, in the regional assembly, Mayor U Hla Myint declared about the project, located on a 30,000 acre land west of Yangon and in corporation with Myanma Say Ta Nar Myothit Public Co. Ltd. However, a week later after much criticisms, he announced the recalling of the tender.
“The land price here hasn’t come down yet because they just talked about the halting of the project today in the assembly. I think it will begin to fall starting tomorrow. It has been a week since prices have gone up with only few deals happening. Those who have already bought the land probably wouldn’t know what to do. Farmers have already sold their land too. The government has gone too far this time,” said U Soe Myint, a real estate agent who lives by the Twante-Hlaing Tharyar highway.
Last year, due to the rumors about a bridge project to link Pansodan and Dala Township which is across the Yangon River, land prices in Dala went up. Many people ended up losing money when the rumors were proved to be false. A similar case is happening again with this New Town project, according to Sai Khun Naung, a real estate agent.
“You can’t just come up with this kind of New Town project overnight. A lot have to be prepared. It is not that the project shouldn’t happen. It should. But they should have consulted with other experts first. The mayor and the regional government shouldn’t do whatever they want. Nonetheless, Yangon does need a new town project,” said U Win Myint, an urban designer and an architect.
The project’s proposal states that it would take 3 years to implement 70 percent of the project. Since the project is not a national-level project and the current government has only one more year left, a few representatives said that even if the project went through, the next government in charge might stop the project.
In the areas under the proposed project, some trading was still going on by 3PM on 26th. Some had yet to discover about the cancellation of the project, and most of the buyers were Chinese, according to U Soe Min, a farmland real estate agent.
“Business has been slow for about a week. But the prices have remained at the original level and haven’t come down yet. In the villages, most land are sold out and the only pieces of land remain are the cemetery land,” said U Soe Min.
Most of the buyers last week are businesspeople from Shan State such as Namkham, Muse, and Lashio. Most of them were engaged in price gouging and bought the plots and sold it right away. As a result, most of the lands are in the hand of those people, the agent said.