Friday, August 18, 2017

New deadline set for illegal residents in Mandalay

A boy rides his bike through Kangyikone ward in Mandalay’s Pyigyitagun township in September 2012. (Phyo Wai Kyaw / The Myanmar Times)A boy rides his bike through Kangyikone ward in Mandalay’s Pyigyitagun township in September 2012. (Phyo Wai Kyaw / The Myanmar Times)

Mandalay City Development Committee has warned illegal residents in Pyigyitagun township’s Kangyikone ward to leave their homes no later than November 15, the head of the Department of Land Records said last week.

MCDC staff and regional government officials met the residents on October 24 at Magway monastery in Kangyikone and warned them once again that it was illegal for them to stay in their homes.

“We gave pamphlets to the trespassers indicating that they had to leave the place voluntarily and explaining the illegal issues. But we have not received any instructions about what we should do if they don’t leave by November 15,” department head U Tin Htut Kyaw said on October 25.

MCDC staff created lists of families living illegally in Kangyikone ward from October 3 to 9, prompting some to speculate that residents would be allowed to stay. However, the pamphlets indicate that MCDC will not recognise the ownership claims of the illegal residents and the measure was just to gather evidence so as to take legal action against those who sold land in the area illegally.

“MCDC says in the pamphlet that we should sue those who sold us the land. That’s easy to say but hard to do in practice. It is also hard to find some of the original sellers and some plots were transferred many times. I believe it is not easy to get compensation again from them,” said Ma Le Le from Kangyikone.

She said her family settled in the ward in early 2009 after buying a 900-square-foot plot K250,000. More recently, properties have been selling for up to K3 million for an 800-square-foot plot.

“We could move from here if MCDC arranges a new place for us. MCDC’s plan is irresponsible. We would be pleased if we could just get a small space, just enough for us to stay somewhere. We didn’t buy this land here to make a big profit; we just used all of our resources to buy this place so we had somewhere to live,” Ma Le Le said.

MCDC said in its Mandalay daily newspaper on September 15 that about 1180 huts and houses had been built illegally on municipal land in parts of Myayi Nandar ward in Chanmyatharsi township, Kangyikone ward, Zeeoke and Ywarthit Kalay villages in Pyigyitagun township and Nat Yekan village in Amarapura township.

MCDC warned the trespassers to leave no later than September 16 and demolished illegal homes in Myayi Nandar ward on September 17.