Narinjara News

 

Junta forces the responsibility of street drainage on citizens

 

Akyab, May 26: Akyab residents have been ordered to build the drainage for the portion of street in front of their house. Those who are not able to build one has been threatened to move house.

 

The District authority told the residents that, “If you can’t do it, you will have to leave your home for the rich Muslims who will build the drainage.” Such talk incites the communal feelings of the Buddhist Arakanese families, said a resident of the Shwe Bya Quarter.

 

The Drainage on each side of the road has been the responsibility of the Akyab City Municipal Council. However, under the SPDC administration the responsibilities of maintenance of streets and drainages have been shifted to the general public.

 

Daw Aye May of “Sakay House” hanged herself due to such pressure last year. She was a private school teacher, and made responsible for the construction of 100 yards of drainage in her street.  Despite her family being well-off, it had been struggling with finances lately.

 

The district authority threatened her by saying that the drainage had to be built in order to raise the “integrity” of the city, and if they are not able to live up to the standard, they should sell the house and move to the outer suburbs or away from the main road.

 

Even though people are facing great difficulties in building the drainage, the district officials visit the allocated streets on every Saturday and force people to build the drainage within the given deadlines.

 

An average cost for a lot's drainage is about 100, 000 kyats. The government provides them with a bag of cement priced at 2,900 kyats instead of the usual 5,200 kyats.  However, that is the only assistance they receive.

 

The construction of drainage does not receive any help from the engineers, consequently the drainage systems are destroyed easily by torrential weather. The cost of the repair is also bore by the public, which means the residents are faced with a great financial burden, said the same resident from Akyab. #

 

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