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Dec 4, 2008 (DVB), Local authorities in Htanaung Taing village in Myin Chan province, Mandalay division, are auctioning off land on alluvial islands instead of allocating them to local farmers.
The islands appear annually in the nearby Wa Creek and land there was supposed to have been divided up and allocated to local farmers free of charge.
One villager said the Peace and Development Council chairman had told locals the proceeds from the auction would go to the township and provincial PDCs.
"Our village PDC chairman U Win Myint is auctioning off alluvial lands that were supposed to be distributed free of charge to local farmers for the 2008-09 onion season," the villager said.
"Bidding for the best 200 stretches of land, known as class A plots, starts at 70,000 kyat per block," he said.
"The 185 class B plots are being auctioned for 15,000 kyat each. The worst 40 plots, class C, start at 10,000 kyat."
Each block of land is about half an acre wide.
According to the law, local farmers are free to grow crops on the alluvial lands without having to pay any charges.
Villagers have made several complaints about the situation to high-level authorities but no attention was paid on that, said the villager.
Myin Chan provincial PDC was unavailable for comment.
Reporting by Aye Nai