A substitute location has been found in the Karen State’s Hpapun Township to run a rock quarry for the Asia Highway project after the suspension of the quarry in Lun-nya-taung, the Karen State Minister of Environment, Forestry, Mines, and Road and Communication Saw Pyi Thar said.
A Chinese contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), has been producing stone materials from Lun-nya-taung to build the Asia Highway using a loan from the Asia Development Bank (ADB) before it was closed down a few months ago so attempts have been made to find a substitute location for the quarry.
The Karen State Minister of Environment, Forestry, Mines, and Road and Communication Saw Pyi Thar told Karen News that Ka-maw-le-taung in Hpapun Township has been earmarked for the quarry site.
“A new location has been found. The ADB has also visited it, but they haven’t contacted us yet. We already have a company for the new site, but we don’t know whether the CRBC has difficulties in working together with the new company and what verbal commitments have been made with [former rock quarry sub-contractor] Chit Linn Myaing Company before. We only link them and negotiate with them if necessary,” he said on September 25.
Although the government permitted CRBC to extract necessary stone materials from 130,000 plots from Lun-nya-taung under a three-year project for the Asia Highway project, the ADB suspended the loan after local residents protested to the quarry and the quarry project was suspended at Lun-nya-taung.
A 41.215-mile (66.5-km) section of highway between Kaw-kareik and Ein-dhu is being upgraded using US$100 million loan from the ADB, US$20 million from Asean Infrastructure Fund and US$1.8 million budget from the Myanmar government. The project started in 2016 and is expected to be completed in September, 2019.