The Irrawaddy

Yangon Traffic Control System To Launch This Year, Officials Say

A traffic light in Yangon.

YANGON — After more than a year in limbo, the Yangon Traffic Control Center is expected to launch operations this year, according to the Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA).

“The system has some faults, which are still being fixed. That’s why there have been delays. But it is likely that it will begin operating this year,” Dr. Than Win, joint secretary of the YRTA, told The Irrawaddy.

U Thein Sein’s government awarded Myanmar Shwe Ying Co. and China Railway 21st Bureau Group Co. Ltd. a contract to build a traffic control tower in People’s Park. The contract with the Yangon regional government was signed in February 2016.

The tower will direct traffic through computer-controlled cameras set up at 154 traffic lights on congested streets across Yangon. The cameras will monitor traffic build-up at each light in order to better regulate vehicle flow.

The center’s operations are expected to reduce Yangon’s notorious traffic congestion by 30 percent, said Dr. Than Win, adding that the system should reduce the number of accidents, as it will allow for greater monitoring of traffic violations.

“According to the contract, the center should have been up and running within six months, but the company is new and had some troubles installing the system,” he said.

So far, installation of new traffic lights and CCTV cameras, and construction of the control tower are 90 percent complete. Installation of underground fiber-optic cables is 80 percent complete and the improvement of road signs is 60 percent done, according to the YRTA.

Meanwhile, Myanmar Shwe Ying Co is still working on technical aspects of the CCTV camera system, said Dr. Than Win said.
There were rumors in December that the two companies had abandoned the project, but YRTA denied the rumors and announced in newspapers that the project was continuing.

“YRTA said the companies are still working with them, but admitted that [Myanmar Shwe Ying] has no experience at all,” said U Than Naing Oo, a Yangon regional lawmaker from Pabedan Township.

According to the YRTA, the company is paying 100,000 kyats daily to Yangon municipality for failure to complete the project on schedule.