By Shin Naw
Photos: Lin Nyunt
Crowds of people crossing over both Strand Road through zebra crossing and by an over-bridge building across Strand Road are a common sight we can see whenever we arrive at the junction of Pansodan Street and Strand Road in the downtown area of Yangon. Those crowds of people go to Yangon and come back to Dala every day. Motorboats seen along Yangon River carry commuters to other bank of the river, the place known as tree-covered Dala.
Dala home to more than 150,000 residents according to the 2014 census occupies a total area of 86.51 per cent square miles. There are 24 wards, 23 village tracts and 54 villages in Dala. Three are irregular among 24 wards. Those three wards are designated as the wards but against the urban standard. For that reason, water can’t be supplied, revenues can’t be collected and garbage collection service can’t be carried out in those three wards. Most of the people residing in Dala are farmers relying on farming in particular, but a difficult access to transport and electric power still remains there.
New Dala Bridge under construction
Dala is the township that contained as a part of the Master Plan of Urban Project of Yangon Region. A new Dala Bridge is under construction as a gesture of friendship between Myanmar and the Republic of Korea (ROK).
“If completed, infrastructures will be needed for preparations. For example, buildings, transport, water and power supplies are to be taken into consideration. Proper drainage system must be developed if good roads are wanted. The lengths of the drainage channel and the road have been submitted to the mayor, the vice-mayor and the committees concerned. The feasibility study and budget are also the same matter,” said Daw Myint Myint Kyi, chairperson of Dala Township Development Affairs Committee (DAC).
The responsible persons including the chairperson of Dala Township DAC went on a working tour to the ROK having discussions about the matters relating to the construction of ports in Seoul, Incheon and Busan from 18 to 23 August.
“A new port will be also built after Dala Bridge is finished. The existing roads are a low level of physical strength and the facilities need upgrade in Dala. Too much reliance on the budget of the State is out of the question in a bid to improve infrastructures from 2020. If international assistance and technical support are sought, the roads will be able to be upgraded at a time when a port and a bridge are completed,” said Daw Myint Myint Kyi. The workless youth population is on the increase in Dala. When the town develops, vocational training ought to be created for workless young people in order to do a particular job. A new port will be constructed. If mechanical training capable of creating job opportunities suitable for port activities and technical support course on commodity flow are opened in advance, the youths will emerge as skilled workers at the time of the completion of port construction. The training and courses are needed to be open for the youths.
Raising of living standards
“Water resource is scarce in Dala. The availability of fresh water is a less likelihood. The farmland ownership of the farmers is plentiful. There are 54 villages. We must try for fresh water. If technical help, agricultural loans, inputs and productivity are provided, farmers will be able to grow a double-crop and a triple-crop within year. Growing a double-crop and a triple-crop can raise the standard of living of the farmers. If joint venture can be set up, the people from our village and town will welcome it. The roads must be upgraded, the qualified courses, opened and technical support plus finance, provided to the farmers. In doing so, our youths and farmers will see a rapid development from five to ten years. These matters were discussed during our visit and the ROK side liked our discussions. The ROK expressed desire to cooperate with us.”
Beginning with construction activities
Concerning the water supply, preliminary land preparatory measures have started in January.
A new world-class port to emerge soon
Asked if how much area is the new port to be built in Dala, Daw Myint Myint Kyi replied that we thought of the place of Arntgyi shipyard. The designated area starts from Kamarohn creek to Arntgyi east ward adjacent to Port Authority, Thamada beach adjacent to Port Authority and Sanpyadata creek adjacent to Port Authority. Feasibility study is underway for five years of first priority and ten years of second priority. The first phase is from 2022 to 2027 and the second from 2027 to 2030. The length of time is one decade during which a new world-class port will appear.
For the reasons mentioned above, Dala, the little known township in Yangon Region will be witnessed as a town with urban development characteristics of world-class bridge, roads and structures near future. Translated by Htut Htut (Twantay)