YANGON, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's Yangon regional parliament approved a controversial new town expansion project Monday in Yangon's southwestern part after suspension for 10 months.
After making review and debate, the regional parliament granted the project to go on and the relevant authorities will invite tenders for the new town development.
The new Yangon town project will be established on 4,745 hectares between the Pan Hlaing River and the Twantay-Yangon Canal and between the Hlaing River and Hlaingthaya-Twantay Road in southwestern Yangon.
The new town project represents one of the seven modern housing projects of the Greater Yangon Development Strategic Plan 2040, designed by the Yangon regional government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The seven modern housing projects will be implemented on over 40,500 hectares of land on the outskirts of Yangon and will accommodate more than 10 million people.
Yangon Mayor U Hla Myint debated in the regional parliament that the long-term plan of the seven projects needs to be implemented assuring that the project will not contribute to financial instability in the country.
Some other MPs also seconded the plan calling for establishment of the new town to help local people and address the rising population in Yangon which has more than five million people and is experiencing annual increase of 2.6 percent.
The development project, first introduced in August last year, was blamed for lacking transparency with regard to the assignment of the project and was suspended in September for review.
Tenders are being changed to be invited transparently from private developers for the expansion project of the new Yangon town.
When the project was first announced, land prices in the planned new Yangon town area had skyrocketed compared with five years ago.
Sudden suspension of the project one month later had brought much impact on those who have bought the land at high prices.
The new Yangon town was originally planned on 12,150 hectares of land area which called for investment of 15.21 billion U.S. dollars, 70 percent of which is targeted to be completed within three years.
The project includes affordable housing complexes with 20,000 apartments, a school with a seating capacity of 2,000, a home for the aged which can accommodate 2,000 aged people and five six-lane river crossing bridges.
In view of rapid increase in population and socio-economic development and the need to expand the area of the city, the project is designed for creating opportunities for private developers and investors.
The government has been organizing workshop, conducting public opinion survey and feasibility test for infrastructure and drafting conceptual plans for urban development while inviting investment from the private sector.
The existing Yangon city has a population of over 6 million and an area of 795 square kilometers.