Friday, September 22, 2017

Shwedagon landscape work on track

Workers carry out landscaping tasks near the west gate at Shwedagon Pagoda, beside U Wizara Road, last week. Photo: Seng MaiWorkers carry out landscaping tasks near the west gate at Shwedagon Pagoda, beside U Wizara Road, last week. Photo: Seng Mai

Landscaping work now being conducted at the west gate of Shwedagon Pagoda along U Wizara Road will be completed in time for Thadingyut, an official from the pagoda’s board of trustees said last week.

U Ba Shwe said landscaping started this month and should be complete by the end of August. “We have replaced trees on the lower platform that were lost in Cyclone Nargis, and we want to improve the beauty of the landscaping,” he said.

The other gates have less room for landscaping, but there are lawns at the east and south gates. The new west gate approach will feature a lawn, shady trees, benches and small water fountains, he said. “Pilgrims will be able to rest and enjoy the panorama while adoring Shwedagon.”

Well-wishers have donated earth, trees, machinery and labour to the operation. Anyone who wants to contribute can contact the board.

The trustees have also set up a team of engineers to carry out water and sanitation works on the 114-acre complex. U Ba Shwe, who is a retired engineer, said the team was responsible for repairing and restoring the water distribution system, strengthening fire plugs and water pipes, and ensuring 24-hour provision of water at the 12 corners of the upper platform.

“We are arranging water sanitation first and then we will install a meter to help prevent wastage, because the system has not been used yet,” he said, adding that the team would also ensure staff living in the compound have a reliable water supply.

Other minor restoration and repair work will also be conducted throughout the year.

The board is also recognising the contribution of donors by taking commemorative photographs of anyone who donates more than K100,000, and presenting them with a book about Shwedagon and other small gifts.