Land Survey for New Airport in Ancient City of Arakan

Narinjara News

A group of army engineers from Light Infantry Battalion 540 based in Mrauk U recently surveyed lands near Nankya Village for a new airport to be built in the ancient city of Arakan, reported an engineer from the Mrauk U construction department.

He said the military government was likely to build a new airport in Mrauk U in the near future, and for this reason recently had the lands surveyed in Mrauk U Township.

The authorities have decided to build the new airport near Nankya Villave, located between Mrauk U and the Minby motor road six miles from downtown Mrauk U.

A local source said that at least 800 acres of land from the villages of Longkrat Taungmaw, Poundkul, Parin, Shan Daung, and Sithi are likely to be confiscated by the government without compensation for the airport.

Most villagers from the area are now agonizing over the potential loss of their land for the airport if it is built near their homes.

Mrauk U is an ancient city of Arakan where there are a number of Buddhist temples built by several Arakanese kings during the 14th to 17th centuries. The city is also an attraction for tourists in Burma, and it has seen many visitors since 1988. According to a travel agent, during the last tourist season, over 3000 foreign tourists visited Mrauk U.

There had been an airport in the city prior to the 1980's, allowing people to fly between Mrauk U and Akyab, the capital of Arakan State. The authority stopped the air route around 1980 due to the economic crisis under the Burma Socialist Government led by Ne Win. #