Yangon govt considers water travel to ease jams

The Yangon Region government is considering a range of measures to tackle traffic jams in the commercial capital, including the introduction of public transport on waterways, the regional hluttaw was told last week.

Regional Minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation Daw Nilar Kyaw said the use of public transport on waterways was being investigated.

She also said more school buses would be provided to ease congestion at some government schools, Eleven Media reported.

“At basic education high schools in Dagon, Kamaryut and Bahan almost every child goes to school in a car; that worsens congestion,” Nilar Kyaw was quoted as telling the chamber on May 26.

The minister indicated that a shortage of traffic police was contributing to congestion, which she acknowledged was a problem for all city residents.

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“There are 986 traffic police in Yangon Region and according to the ratio of traffic police to cars, each officer is responsible for 700 cars,” Nilar Kyaw said.

She said meetings were being held with domestic and foreign experts, vehicle owners and department officials to discuss measures aimed at easing congestion.

Upgrading the Yangon Circle Line to attract more passengers was also expected to ease congestion as it being used by about 70,000 commuters a day, or only one percent of the city’s population.

The minister’s comments came during debate on an urgent proposal to reduce traffic congestion in Yangon.

MPs said the previous regional government’s attempts to deal with the problem, by building overpasses, placing concrete blocks on roads and issuing permits for parking spaces, had been unsuccessful.

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