Arakan State’s villagers have to build bridges on their own without government’s assistance

San Maung Than, Sittwe

Narinjara News , 9 March 2017

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Ka La Ka-Kinn Seik Bridge seen under construction

Local residents have to build many bridges connecting the villages in the Arakan State on their own without assistance from the government.

The bridge connecting Ka La Ka and Kinn Seik villages in Mrauk U Township is one of the bridges that are being built on a self-help basic.

Local village residents told Narinjara News that they have to build the bridge on their own at a cost of three million kyats.

“Due to the urging of the Mrauk U Township Southern Regional Development Group, the construction of the bridge connecting Ka La Ka and Kinn Seik villages in Mrauk U Township started on 3 March. Betel trees are used in building the bridge. It costs over three million kyats even though the bridge is being built with betel trees. We have received nothing from the government,” U Maung Thar Sein, secretary of Mrauk U Township Southern Regional Development Group, said to Narinjara News on 4 March.

The bridge is over 200 feet long and two-wheel and three-wheel vehicles can pass through the bridge without passengers. Residents of between 20 and 30 villages will be able to use the bridge to travel to Mrauk U after the bridge is completed.

“We are building bridges over creeks on a self-help basic in Mrauk U Township. We asked the [Arakan] State government for help. At first, they acted like they were going to help us but they disappeared without a trace in the end,” he said.

In a joint effort with local villagers, Mrauk U Township Southern Regional Development Group has built three suspension bridges and four betel-tree bridges. It costs between 30 million kyats and 50 million kyats to build a suspension bridge while it costs over three million kyats to build a betel-tree bridge.

Retired engineer U Ba Saw from Kywel Tal Village in Mrauk Township has provided capital for the construction of suspension bridges, which have been built using his technology.

“When we heard that 50 million kyats have been allocated for Letpantaw Suspension Bridge in Mrauk U Township, we tried to inquire at the government departments but we couldn’t find out anything. The only assistance the [Arakan] State government has provided is the wooden planks for Bauk Creek Suspension Bridge, our first bridge,” U Maung Thar Sein explained.

Bridges built with betel trees can be used for three years without receiving any damages.

(Caption Photo – Ka La Ka-Kinn Seik Bridge seen under construction)

 

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