Parliament Approves Emergency Development and Security Budget for Troubled Northern Rakhine

By Moe Moe 25 October 2017

NAYPYITAW —The Myanmar’s Union Parliament has approved the release of four billion kyats from Union emergency funds to be spent on electricity supply, security and development of three townships in northern Rakhine State.

On Tuesday, Parliament approved the proposal of electricity and energy deputy minister Dr. Tun Naing to build three power stations and install 65 miles of power cables to provide 24-hr electricity to Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships.

According to the ministry’s press conference earlier this month, tender was invited for the electrification of rural villages in those three townships.

Upon completion of the project, over 27,000 households in 43 villages in Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships—which currently only have partial access to electricity from diesel generators—will be connected to national gird.

As of December 2014, 11 townships—Sittwe, Ponnagyun, MraukU, Kyauktaw, Kyaukphyu, Ann, Ramree, Thandwe, Ngapali, Taungup, Ma-Ei—and 144 adjacent villages were connected to the national grid, according to the deputy minister.

U Aung Thuang Shwe, a lawmaker in the Lower House from Rakhine State, said road conditions must be improved first before anything else.

“I don’t think we’ll get electricity soon because roads are still in poor conditions here. So, it is impossible to build a power station immediately. Anyway, budget has been allocated, and we’ll wait and see how properly the budget is spent,” he said.

According to U Aung Thaung Shwe, urban wards and some villages in Buthidaung, Rathedaung and Maungdaw townships previously had electricity for 3.5 hours a day, and are having electricity from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily now since the outbreak of violence on Aug. 25.

“It is good that villages will get electricity because even urban wards now only have electricity for a limited period of time,” said Ashin Nayaka, the abbot of Shwekyin Monastery in Buthidaung Township.