Monday, September 25, 2017

Yangon high-rise projects under scrutiny

Yangon Region parliament discussed two high-rise projects that will be watched closely by the local government yesterday, with MPs suggesting the developments may be up for review.

Workers on a construction site in Yangon. Thiri Lu/ The Myanmar TimesWorkers on a construction site in Yangon. Thiri Lu/ The Myanmar Times

The highest condominium in Yangon is one of the two buildings placed on a regional parliament “watch-list” and officials say they will object if the developers continue to build before a thorough investigation of the projects is complete.

Daw Sandar Min, who heads the regional Finance, Planning and Economic Committee, suggested the parliament should publicise a city zoning plan, as well as laws and regulations governing high-rise construction.

She said that Diamond Inya Palace Condominium – which would be the tallest building in the country if its 34 floors are completed – is in a low-rise zone according to the draft city zoning plan.

The project, which is located on U Tun Nyein Street in Mayangone

township, has all the necessary permissions under Yangon City Development Committee rules. Even though the zoning plan has not yet been approved, there should be no high-rises in this area, she said.

“We don’t think this building should have 34 floors and the mayor has said he will use existing rules and regulations to handle the issue. If the developer continues construction, our parliament will object.”

Developer Mandalay Golden Wing Construction has built 26 floors already and the project is due for completion later this year. Last November, construction was temporarily halted when a fire broke out in the early- morning hours. Firefighters said a falling searchlight ignited plywood and timber on the 22nd floor.

U Than Htay, head of the Engineering Department (Building) at YCDC, said that Diamond Inya Palace Condominium never received its final construction permit and is being investigated.

“We have suspended construction because the developer did not get a final construction permit. We are still deciding whether it should continue or not,” he told The Myanmar Times. The company was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Yangon Region government is reviewing all high-rise projects of nine floors or higher to determine which will go ahead – even those already under construction.

More than 200 high-rises had received varying levels of approval under the previous administration, according to YCDC’s building engineering department. Over 60 of those projects have already been granted permits to start construction, while more than 120 projects are already being built.

Another high-rise building of 11 storeys, located near Yangon’s parliament building, was also discussed during yesterday’s session, in relation to the security of parliament and nearby government offices.

U Kyaw Zay Ya of Dagon township asked Mayor U Maung Maung Soe whether the building should be located so near to the compound. The mayor responded that the building should not be so close.

An official from developer Waminn Group, which is building the project, said yesterday that his company will follow the rules of the new government and that it has no plans to object if the government cancels the project.

“We have finished the foundations of the building. We are now suspending our work,” he said.