Squatters in Hlinetharyar fear being evicted after Minister’s comment


A press conference held at Orchid Hotel on June 20 on ‘Urban Poor’s affairs (Squatters)’. Photo: Mizzima

The squatters living in Hlinetharyar Township are reportedly in fear of being evicted from their houses after Yangon Region government Electricity, Industry and Transport Minister Nilar Kyaw said that the high number of squatters were the root cause for choking drainage and dirtiness in the Hlinetharyar industrial zone.

One of these squatters, Mya Than, who lives in Maykha Street, Shwe Thanlwin compound, Hlinetharyar Township said at the press conference held at Orchid Hotel on June 20 on ‘Urban Poor’s affairs (Squatters)’ that there was no drainage choking and dirtiness in their area because of them.

“We hold this conference after we heard what legislators said. We would like to say we don’t make drainage choking and sanitation problems and also we would like to say to them to cooperate and coordinate with us and not to use bouncers in evicting us. They will have success if they cooperate with CSOs,” he said.

Yangon Region Legislative Assembly legislator Win Maung aka Oo Oo Win Maung a asked question at the assembly held on May 31 on 37th day of second assembly sixth regular session, ‘if there is any plan for the development of industrial zones in Yangon Region by Supervising Committee for Upgrading Industrial Zones’.

Electricity, Industry and Transport Minister Nilar Kyaw replied to the question as saying, that the high number of squatters in the area “is the root cause for us as we have many difficulties in clearing waste and clearing choking drainage because of large number of squatters living there.”

Win Mya, resident of Hlinetharyar, said that the squatters in Hlinetharyar feared being evicted at any time.

“We have lived here for about five years. We are in constant fear of being evicted by them. And also we are in trouble in getting electricity and water connections. Now they are saying we dirtied the area with waste. We can’t discard our waste here. It will be convenient for us if the city development committee (municipal) give waste bins and waste vehicles to us,” he said.

It is learned that they would like to live in the place near to their workplaces and they will have difficulties for commuting to their workplaces if they are resettled in place far from the city area. Some squatters in Hlinetharyar said that the housing without place for parking their rickshaws and freight carts would be inconvenient for them.

Local resident Mya Than said that some companies once hired bouncers to evict them in 2013 but the problem could have been settled amicably through the intervention of the authorities.

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