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Amid meager rural development allowance, Bilu Island lacks funds for road repair

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Townships in Mon State say they are struggling to achieve much in the way of development due to the limited budget allocated to rural development in the 2017-2018 financial plan.

Each township in Mon State was allotted K300 million for rural development. This amount was divided even further in Chaungzone, where it was split between Chaungzone township 1 and Chaungzone township 2.

Local officials are already saying they don’t have enough funds to cover planned road repairs, like the Ka Mar Kay-Taw Pa Kauk Road on Bilu Island which is in the middle of an upgrade.

“Gravel and a granular base have already been laid down. The [rural development department] has been planning to pave it with asphalt,” Daw Kyi Kyi Mya, the Mon State Hluttaw MP from Chaungzone township 2, told Mon News Agency.

Chaungzone township 2 officials say upgrading the Ka Mar Kay-Taw Pa Kauk Road on Bilu Island would help bring investment and job opportunity to the area. (Photo – MNA)
But the blueprint for finishing the one mile project requires an addition K125 million, or almost all of the township’s development budget.

Daw Kyi Kyi Mya said that as the township is strapped for cash, it will have to go back to the state government and appeal for enough money to finish the roadway project.

U Khin Maung Oo, director of Chaungzone township’s municipal committee, said upgrading the road is about more than improving transportation, as companies are interested in launching aquaculture farms and other investments, but only after the road conditions improve.

“As there are many acres of farmlands, there will be more products and jobs for our Bilu Island if aquaculture farms can start operations,” he said.

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