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Rangoon govt tackles traffic congestion

Previous overpass construction at Rangoon's Hledan Junction. (PHOTO: DVB)

Rangoon Division Minister of Finance San San Nwe unveiled a plan on Wednesday in the regional parliament to construct three new overpasses in the city.

While proposing a budget for fiscal year 2015-16, she said the divisional government is looking at new overpasses to relieve traffic congestion in Tamwe, Bahan and Mayangone townships.

“As special projects, the regional government is seeking 22.5 billion kyat (US$22.5 million) to construct the overpass in Tamwe; 16.45 billion kyat for an overpass at 8-mile Junction in Mayangone Township; and 15.4 billion kyat for an overpass at the Kokkine Junction in Bahan Township,” the minister said.

She added that Rangoon divisional government is allocating an additional 30 billion kyat for traffic lights at 65 busy junctions in the city.

Currently, an overpass is being constructed in Mayangone on Pyay Road at a budget of 16- 18 billion kyat.

Rangoon’s city centre area has suffered from severe traffic congestion since economic reforms took hold over the past few years as the population increases and more city-dwellers and commuters buy vehicles. Many roads have been neglected for decades and are peppered with potholes. Traffic is frequently gridlocked.

Motorcycles have been banned in the city centre by the government for more than 10 years, but some say they might be a better alternative for both the traffic and the pollution. Another solution could be to improve the existing public transportation. Today there are more than 300 bus lines that pass through downtown Rangoon, officially known as Yangon.