Yangon traffic to get a lift


The new Mechanical Car Parking System is unveiled in Yangon on 4 April 2017. (PHOTO: MOI)

Commuters in Yangon may well be frustrated with the lack of parking spaces in the city, but a new mechanised innovation from Japan might provide the first step in attempts the alleviate congestion.

The car lift, or Mechanical Car Parking System, takes up little space but can accommodate up to 15 vehicles, according to a statement today by the Ministry of Information.

The Watahan Company from Japan, accompanied by its Myanmar partner Shin Ye Htut Group, demonstrated the new system yesterday at a workshop in Mingalardon Township in Yangon.

The two firms have merged as Shin Watahan, the ministry said on its website. According to the company, the Mechanical Car Parking System is being used mostly in condominium buildings in Japan, but will now begin production in Myanmar before expanding into other countries in Southeast Asia. The company aims to introduce its car lift to Thailand next, the statement said.

“To assemble the Mechanical Car Parking System as you see today, we sent Myanmar experts to Japan for three months,” said U Ye Htut, chairman of Shin Ye Htut Company. “We want the car parking system to be [introduced] systematically in Yangon [during the tenure of] the democratic government.”

In the initial stage, the company plans to import all the necessary tools and assemble the Mechanical Car Parking System with Japanese and Myanmar experts.

“At present, all the parts are imported. Later, we plan to produce the iron beams in Myanmar that can reduce the price,” said U Ye Htut, adding that they plan to transform the current workshop into a huge factory.

Mr. Yoshiharu Okabe, the managing director of Shin Watahan Company,said yesterday: “I saw many cars parked on the streets in Yangon. It is dangerous. I want all cars to be in parking places. I want Myanmar to make the regulations for it. I wish Myanmar to implement the systematic car parking system.”

Okabe noted that Yangon would need to quickly implement the car parking system to ease its heavy traffic.

The Mechanical Car Parking System comes in different in sizes, the firm says, and does not harm the environment. It currently costs US$7,000 but will cost only $5,000 if assembled in Myanmar. Maintenance costs are $10 per month, said the Ministry of Information statement.

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