Mindat-Mkuiimnu Motor Road Construction Underway
14 March 2012: About an 87-mile long motor road construction from Mindat Town to Mkuiimnu village in southern areas of Chin State has been in motion as part of the reduction of poverty and rural development planning by the Chin State Government.
The ongoing construction undertaken by a Burmese company ‘Myat Noe Thu’ provides necessary facilities including bulldozer, engineer, drivers and fuel for free of charge under the direct leadership of Chief Minister of Chin State Government U Hung Ngai since the start of the project on 21 January 2012.
One of the local community leaders said: “The locals, both Cho (Mün) and Dai, warmly welcome the road construction project. However, it has been made known to us that we must take responsibility to provide food, labour and other necessary tools.”
On completion, the road is believed to pass from Mindat to 16-mile Junction, Sheet, Tuili, Dukimnu, Hlihying (Shihjüng), Kinhlih (Künshih), Thaiimnu village till Mkuiimnu, which is located in the most interior part in southern Chin State and mostly populated by a Dai-Chin tribe.
It is claimed that Chin State Minister of Mining and Forest, U Kyaw Nyein, is also in charge of the new project.
As of today, the road construction is known to have reached just over Sheet village, which is about 13 miles from 16-mile Junction.
“The locals have tried their best to make contribution for the needs of the road construction but it is not sufficient because the need is still great. Therefore, it is an on-and-off project whilst the road construction leaders are raising financial needs and man power,” added the local leader.
The locals are unable to provide for the needs anymore because they are exhausted and enough food is not available due to the Mtam (Mautam) food crisis, according to the Chin leader, whose name is not revealed.
Some locals are claimed to be worried that the project might come to a halt due to their insufficient contribution and a 2-mile long area with giant cliffs yet to be going through.
“The construction engineers believe that if they can overcome the 2-mile long giant cliff, then it will be a lot easier and quicker to reach the target village, Mkuiimnu. The construction chairman urges all local people to voluntarily provide man power and for the needs in order to successfully complete the project,” said one of the locals.
A Dai-Chin leader said: “It is difficult to predict when the road construction will be finished as the project much relies on contributions by the local people, who had recently been affected by the devastating food scarcity. The government, not the local people, must take more action for its completion.”
Chin State has been ranked the poorest among the 14 states and divisions in Burma, according to a report ‘Poverty Profile’ published last year by the UNDP.
The food security condition in parts of Chin State is of great concern due to crop failures and an extreme reduction of yield in 2011, a report in January 2012 by UN-OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) said.
Reporting by Jeremy Hoipang