Myanmar plans satellite township near Moreh

IMPHAL, 21st Oct: In a bid to boost border trade with Manipur, Myanmar government has finalised plans to develop a satellite township at its border town Tamu. Sagaing region government has reserved an area of 75 hectares for the township with further planning to cover additional land areas if required for expansion.

Chindwin Development Corporation Limited (CDCL) director Soe Myint told The People’s Chronicle that the Sagaing region government has reserved the land for the satellite township, which will help in boosting border trade between India and Myanmar through Manipur’s Moreh. The area is not far from Namphalong. An initial area of 75 hectares have been reserved and works on infrastructure development will begin soon, he said.

He informed that the township will have well-equipped warehouses, shopping malls, theatre, hospitals, school and residential complexes. Regarding the funding strategy and model of the township, Soe Myint disclosed that most of the infrastructure will be developed through assistance from foreign investors and the project will be carried out with an agreement while keeping in mind the profit interest of the investors. Presently, the Sagaing region government is drawing attention of foreign investors including those from India. So far, several Indian investors have expressed their interest in the project, he added.

The CDCL director also took a team from Manipur led by Committee on Act East Policy convener RK Shivachandra during the team’s visit in Tamu on Saturday. On the other hand, a similar dream project of Manipur, which was conceived in 2012, is still lying in deep slumber. The then deputy chief minister Gaikhangam and commerce & industries minister Govindas Konthoujam identified a probable site and visited the area then.

Govindas Konthoujam had declared that Centre had approved the project for a thermal power plan and a satellite town in Moreh. He also said that the satellite town will come up near the Indo Myanmar border some 1 km away on the southern side from the Integrated Check Post complex.

Maintaining that Moreh is located at a strategic point, which could become a potential gateway for trade and commerce with the Southeast Asian countries, the then minister also assured that several multinational companies would be roped in for infrastructure development apart from the fund sanctioned by the Centre. He also spoke of signing several agreements on profit sharing with the investors. However, the dream project has not realised till date.

Mention may be made that India-Myanmar Border Trade Agreement was signed on January 21, 1994. Actual border trade began after opening Land Customs Station at Moreh on April 12, 1995. In the latest development on border trade and other activities between the two countries, the Indo-Myanmar border land route was officially opened on August 8 this year.

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