Reconstruction of Moulmein market nearly finished

Tue 17 Nov 2009, IMNA, Rai Maraoh
After burning to the ground in on December 1st of 2008, the reconstruction of Moulmein’s second largest market has nearly been completed. The opening ceremonies for the new market are planned for January 1st 2010.

A Moulmein resident told IMNA’s reporter, “The market is nearly finished, only painting it is left. The new market will have two stories, we heard the market will open in January 2010.”

The new market has been under construction since March 18th of this year; the project has been handled by both the Lot Lat Thaw Eaya Hangthar Company and the Ngwe Moe Hotel Company, through government-issued contracts. IMNA’s reporter learned that threats of missing its January 1st deadline recently forced the companies to expand the numbers of construction workers hired to work on the assignment; worker ranks have currently been expanded to 400 men. Construction workers reportedly earn 2,000 kyat a day, while their supervisors earn 4,000 kyat. MNA’s reporter learned that Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) authorities in Moulmein have already claimed the use of the coveted shop slots located at the new market’s entrance. Shopkeepers who lost their stores in last December’s fire must draw lots for the new locations of their shops within the new market structure.

Shopkeepers who owned booths in the old market must pay a fee of 500,000 kyat to draw lots for their new shops; new aspiring shop-owners must pay between 1.5 and 3 million kyat for the privilege. The lot-drawing fee comes as an additional blow to shop owners who lost their booths in the 2008 blaze; besides losing their businesses in the fire, shop owners have twice been forced to pay fines to gain permission to open new stalls at the temporary market erected during structure’s construction.

“The entrance shops, the authority will take them. The shops left over from the authorities, shopkeepers and others who want the shops can get them by drawing lots”, said a Moulmein shop owner who’s store is located nearby the to-be market.

When the market burned down in December of 2008, the complex contained 1124 shops; all were lost in the catastrophe. The new market complex will have room for roughly 1300 stores. According to a Moulmein store owner who lost his shop in last year’s fire, lot drawings for new stall locations within the market will begin on the 28th of this month.

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