Sep 18, 2014

Japan loan up to USD13 million to complete the cable car project in Myanmar

The Zwekapin cable car project in Kayin State will proceed as planned, thanks to the promise of a loan from Japanese individuals.
The project representative, Sayadaw Badanda Kawida Zak, told Myanmar Eleven news that a high-ranking Japanese official as well as some shareholders of Toshiba Corp will visit this month and finalise a loan to underwrite the project.
“They are ready to loan us up to USD13 million to complete the project,” the head monk explained to the news channel.
Unveiled earlier in the year, the project remained just a proposal due to the lack of funding. A charity concert was hosted in May to raise donations, but the event failed to reach its financial target.
Supporters say the cable car will facilitate pilgrims and travellers to Zwekapin Mountain, where Zwekapin Pagoda is located at a height of 2,734 feet above sea level. The area in Hpa-an, the capital city of Kayin State, is famous for its greenery and critics of the project are concerned that it will cause over crowding and is not in the best interests of serious worshippers who go to the pagoda.
But supporters claim it will be good for tourism and that at present is an argument that silences opposition.
Construction will be handled by Malaysia-based engineering firm SMET Sdn Bhd, with assistance from a local company, San Tit Co. Soil testing and cable design is already completed.
The head monk said that wind turbines would be used to generate electricity, which would reduce operational costs.
“The Japanese said they loan us the money for 30 years,” the monk added. “Now, we have collected MMK3 billion (USD3,076,950) in donations. We still welcome more donations. I will push forward this project for sure.”
Kayin State’s capital city is Hpa-an sometimes called Pa-An.
The state is bordered by Mae Hong Son, Tak, and Kanchanaburi provinces in Thailand to the east; Mon State and Bago Region to the west and south; Mandalay Region, Shan State and Kayah State to the north.
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