The construction of a pier along the Rangoon River in Botahtaung Township has been suspended to avoid potentially damaging a historic Buddhist stupa in the area.
Speaking at Wednesday’s legislative session in Naypyidaw, Rangoon-based Lower House member Tin Maung Win proposed suspending construction of the pier, which was slated to lie between Botahtaungpaya Road and Bo Aung Kyaw Road, close to Botahtaung pagoda.
The ancient stupa is believed to be as old as Rangoon’s iconic Shwedagon Pagoda and was originally built by Mon settlers. It was completely rebuilt in 1948 after it was destroyed by British bombing during the Second World War.
Transportation and Communications Minister Thant Zin Maung Maung seconded Tin Maung Win’s proposal, suggesting that the construction could cause extensive damage or even destroy the historic stupa. He also noted that the pier could cause congestion among vessels approaching Rangoon ports as it is situated along a narrow strip of water.
“The Botahtaung pagoda is built close to a tunnel and the soil underneath is not very reliable,” said Thant Zin Maung Maung. “Any damage to the temple would be our own responsibility.”
The proposal was supported by five other MPs in parliament, in addition to the transportation minister. Lower House Speaker Win Myint later announced the motion had passed as there were no voices of objection.
The construction project is licensed to the Kaung Myanmar Aung Group of Companies.
Parliament recently also decided to cancel the construction of a private hospital close to Rangoon General Hospital.