Burma

Rangoon Parliamentary Committee Lets Halted High-Rise Projects Off the Hook

By Kyaw Phyo Tha 27 July 2016

RANGOON — A Rangoon Division parliamentary committee has recommended that the divisional government rescind modification orders delivered earlier this month to eight high-rise construction projects, after the developers petitioned the committee for a review.

A high-rise review committee formed by the executive branch of the Rangoon Division government has reviewed more than 200 high-rise building projects in the city since June, to assess their adherence to newly enforced urban planning and safety regulations.

Following their recommendations, the Rangoon government ordered 12 buildings now under construction to reduce their heights, upgrade their parking facilities and improve their safety standards.

Developers from eight out of the 12 affected projects complained to the Rangoon Division parliament’s Finance, Planning and Economic Committee, claiming that the modification order stood to cause them grave financial harm, and that they had followed all the official procedures.

“We have carried out ground-inspections for every project linked to the complaint, and found them to be in line with Yangon City Development Council regulations established under the previous government,” said Kyaw Zeya, the secretary of the parliamentary committee.

“So, we submitted our report to the divisional government last week recommending that action should not be taken against them,” he added.

Kyaw Zeya said he understood that the Rangoon Division government is trying to tame unruly urban development in the city, but “the new policy for high-rise [buildings] should be directed at new projects and not at old ones that have already received permission.”

Asked how decisive they think their recommendation would prove, the lawmaker said, “If we don’t see any results, we will submit a proposal at the upcoming term of parliament to implement the recommendation.”

The Rangoon Division Parliament is currently in recess and will recommence next month.

Ye Min Oo, the spokesperson for the high-rise review committee that suggested the initial modification orders, said he had no comment to offer on the new recommendation, stating that it was a matter to be resolved between the divisional government and the parliamentary committee.

“Because our committee was formed by the divisional government, we are only accountable to it. If the government orders us to review their recommendation, we can do so.”

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