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August 08, 2018

Precautions and safety measure for hovercraft services in Myanmar

By Maung Tin Hlaing (Ministry of Hotel and Tourism)

The rainy season begins at the end of May in Myanmar. During the early monsoon, things get damp and mouldy, the drains are flooded with water and the roads get blocked when there is a heavy downpour. As a rule, Myanmar tends to experience an impact from the rainy season, due to heavy rains and high winds which threatens and endangers the hovercrafts and passenger vessels in the rivers.
Man has to suffer from thunderstorms and rainstorm which can bring dangers for the travellers who use waterway in the rainy season. Precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that there is an effective risk management strategy. Individuals must be aware of the hazards involved in their work and region they live in.
I often make travels to many places such as Yangon, Maubin and other different places in the country, using hover craft services run by the Myanmar Inland Water Transport.

Achievements of Inland Water Transport
As for the Ministry of Transport and Communications, efforts have been made to improve water resources, to ensure safety in the maritime sector and to preserve the environment which can assist in improving the waterway system in the country. Moreover buoys and markers are placed in the shipping lanes of inland rivers to guide the inland waterway ships. Dredging and revetment construction are also conducted to improve water flow, prevent river bank erosion and to pump river water for irrigation purpose s.
The Inland Water Transport is one of the State-owned transport enterprises under the Ministry of Transport and Communication in Myanmar. The Ministry has provided a wide range of services for the secure and smooth water transportation in the country.
The Ministry has made concerted efforts for better water transport services for the security and safety of passengers, cargo, vessels and crew in providing water transport services and ensuring the environment does not get polluted in accordance with the existing law. For the development of the Inland Water Transport sector, the Ministry has tried its best to give priority to the future transformation by reforming many sectors in accordance with the rules and regulations.

Meteorology and Hydrology sector
The ministry has also informed the public regarding meteorological and hydrology data, utilizing Automatic Weather Observation System, and plans are under way to install many automatic water level measuring machines in the states and regions where the most flooding occurs in the rainy season.

A Steady Flow of Commodity
Being a writer, I am much obliged to the Ministry of Inland Water Transport for many reasons; the ministry has extended coastal transportation services in addition to river transportation in the rural areas which can contribute to the socio-economic lives of the rural populace.
In this regard, the Ministry has laid down some effective policies for the interest of the people and the state. Some objectives have been laid down in order to connect with other transport networks for safe and smooth transportation of passengers and cargo along navigable waterways; to connect with river port management and post services which will be developed in accordance time and system; to perform for sustainable development of public transport sector; to extend coastal transportations services in the future; to perform by taking special care for wrested security and safety of passengers cargo and vessels respectively.
To implement the policies and objectives, cooperation is needed to ensure the all-round management of water resources in Myanmar. As water-related works are vital for the country’s development, priority must be given to capacity building works that meet the requirement of the people and the state.

Transportation by waterway
Transporting goods and passengers by waterway is cost-effective. Such navigable rivers in the country as the Ayeyawady, the Chindwin, the Sittoung, the Thanlwin, the Kaladan and many others are flowing in the country. It is evident that lack of waterway channel management and river training are the reason for floods in the rainy season and silting up in the hot season. Therefore measures should be taken to mitigate disasters. To ensure safety in the maritime sector and to preserve environment, the Ministry has followed rules and regulations of International Maritime Organization.

Advantages of Inland Water Transport
Inland Water Transport can provide a service that is far more environment-friendly than either road or rail and it can do a major service by tackling congestion on roads, thus reducing accidents and the horrendous loss of life they cause.
With the aim of promoting the country’s economy and reducing prices of commodities, it is important to obtain technology and cooperate for mutual benefit, as well as support and participate in collecting and distributing water-related data and information. In the all-round management of water resources and related works conducted in cooperation with international organizations, priority must be given to capacity building works that meet the requirement of the people and the state.

Translated by William Ko

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