By KANTARAWADDY TIMES
Burma’s Union government says it plans to build a bridge over the Pun River in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Hpasoung Township during the next fiscal year.
The subject of the bridge, which has been under discussion for some time, was raised by Nang Htwe Thu, the MP for Hpasoung Township, during a session of the lower house of parliament in Naypyidaw last week.
“This bridge will benefit local people in the area. It will protect ethnic minority people, improve living standards and provide better transportation,” Nang Htwe Thu told Kantarawaddy Times after raising the issue in parliament on September 18.
Maj. Than Htut, the Union deputy minister for border affairs, responded by saying that the government has a plan to build a 400-foot bridge of iron and concrete, with a capacity of 20 tons, on the Pun River. The project is expected to cost about 1.46 billion kyat (US$960,000).
The Karenni State government had previously drawn up a plan to build a suspension bridge at an estimated cost of 650 million kyat ($428,000). However, when a revised projection put the final price at 1.8 billion kyat ($1,185,000), the plan was withdrawn.
The Union government’s plan is to build the bridge near the confluence of the Pun and Salween rivers. Once it is completed, local people will be able to travel easily between the villages of Wan Awng, Chi Kwe, and Soung Laawt.
A resident of Wan Awng said the bridge will greatly benefit local people.
“Currently, there is no bridge, so we have to use a motorboat. It takes a lot of time to travel around here. With a bridge on the Pun River, transportation will be much better for the people who live around here,” the local told Kantarawaddy Times.