Sunday, August 20, 2017

Yangon railway project to send staff packing

Some of the workshops and offices at Yangon Central Railway Station will be forced to move to make way for a development at the site in the coming months.

Railway employees will be sent to Ywarthar Gyi in East Dagon Myothit township and other places, said U Htun Aung Thin, general manager of lower Myanmar for Myanma Railways.

The train workshop, locomotive upgrading facilities, department offices and pre-ticketing department will all have to move to new locations. Other businesses that have been affected include a bank branch, the four-storey Dynamic building and the Chan Myae market in Kyauktada township. A school and two Hindu temples are also included.

In February, railway officials announced that land near the station was to be earmarked for a large-scale development, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. While the heritage station building is to remain undeveloped, nearby railway ministry land is to be repurposed.

About 215 trains travel through Yangon Central Railway Station every day.

The Yangon Central Railway Station is a separate but nearby site from the former Ministry of Railways head office near Sule Shangri-La Hotel, which is the site of a development being led by Myanmar conglomerate SPA Group.

U Htun Aung Thin said officials have been holding discussions with the affected shop owners to pay compensation.

“We are targeting the end of September for agreeing to compensation,” he said.

Of the affected ministry agencies, the locomotive upgrading garages will move to Ywarthar Gyi, other repair facilities will go to Ma Hlwa Gone station in Tarmwe township, and the pre-ticket department will move to a new Yangon station.

The leases for the bank and the Dynamic building are also near expiration, said U Htun Aung Thin.

The development on 63 acres of land in Mingalar Taung Nyunt township is expected to start in 2015, with developers’ interest being accepted through a tender. The successful company will be invited to invest along with the ministry, he said.

Meanwhile, Ywar Thar Gyi station is planned for a facelift as well, and will also be the site of a dry port.