Construction of Indian Port Harms Residents in Sittwe

Residents in Sittwe, the capital of western Burma’s Arakan State, said the construction of an Indian-owned port in their town is harming many people, due to the large volume of sands that have blown away from the site, near the Sittwe general hospital.

According to them, dust and sand is being blown away from the construction site of the port and has been greatly troubling patients in the hospital, as well as polluting the environment and air of the town. Undisciplined drivers of heavy vehicles that carry the sand from the beach for landfills in the site have damaged the roads in the town as well.

An educated youth from the town who recently underwent treatment in the hospital said the hospital is filled with sand, dust and noise from the construction of the port.

“Sand which is supposed to be filling in land for the port is blowing into the hospital. The site is closely situated to the eye Sand, dust and sharp noises of engines have made the hospital quite unpleasant and unhygienic for its patients”, said the youth.

Narinjara has contacted the hospital, but the in-charge of the hospital replied that the construction of the port is making no harms to its patients.

An elder from Kyipungree residential ward near to the port also said the sands and the heavy vehicles of the port have polluted the town and caused damage to the streets in the town.

“The residential wards near to the port and the streets in the town are now polluted by the sand and dust from the construction site and spilled from the sand-carrying vehicles that are driving without discipline on the streets in the town. Now the people here are feeling quite uneasy as the whole town is covered with sand and dust”, said the elder.

He said that the best streets in the town including Strand Road are being badly damaged by heavy weight.

“Streets in the town such as the Strand Road are now badly damaged and the main bridge of the road was broken by over-weighted sand-carrying vehicles, but both the municipal department in the town and the Indian company are neglecting to fix the damage."

A student from Sittwe University also said the natural beauty of Point Beach, the public recreation place in the town has also been destroyed by the construction.

“Now Point Beach is potted, and is not beautiful like before”, said the student.

She said the port construction has not only destroyed the natural beauty of the Point beach, but also polluted the whole town with the sands from the beach, but the authorities are turning a blind eye to the work.

According to residents, the people who suffer from some respiratory diseases are being badly affected by the pollution caused by the port construction in their town.

U Aung Mra Kyaw, an MP of the Arakan State Parliament and the President of the Sittwe Branch of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, said he submitted a note of the problems to the regional government.

The port is being constructed by the India’s Essar Company, and is a major component of the ‘Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project’ that was proposed by the Indian government under a framework agreement with the Burmese military regime in 2008 to ease the movement of goods into land locked areas.

Narinjara  Neews

...Posted By... Arakan Research Centre ...Date... Friday, November 04, 2011. ...Post Title... , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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