Local residents have blocked a road near Lun-Nya Village in Hpa-an Township, Karen State since January 3, due to damages caused by the vehicles from the quarries.
Saw Khite Khite, head of the Lun-Nya Mountain Environmental Conservation Committee, said the farmers built the road for easier access to their farms. Now they erected pillars in the middle of the road to stop the vehicles from using the road.
“We didn’t need anyone’s permission to shut down this road. When it was first built, it was built for the farmers to go to their farms. Now, it’s been used for carrying stones from quarries. When the farmers didn’t allow passing, they made an effort to destroy it. According to the village administrator, they haven’t finished the rock quarrying and they signed an agreement to let them use the road until end of the year. The farmers have blocked it in line with the agreement since the year has ended,” he told Karen News.
Over 20 local farmers allowed the construction of the road on their farms in 2015, but the farms became damaged after the owners of the limestone quarries expanded it without building a sluice gate to divert the flow of water.
“We’ve learned that this road was not beneficial for the farmers after it was built. Water courses run into the village every year after it was built. Paddy fields were damaged in the monsoon due to lack of a sluice gate. This road is no longer useful for us to go into our farms,” said Saw Nyein Phyu, a local farmer whose farm also damaged.
The farmers claimed that the owners of quarries did not discuss with them or seek permissions to raise the road up to three feet with earth so as to make it easier for their vehicles carrying rocks from Lun-Nya Mountain.
It was the only road used in transporting rocks for the expansion of the Asia Highway by the Asian Development Bank, which is being built from Kawkareik to Eindu.
According to latest reports, the vehicles carrying rocks from the mountain started using the Ka-maw-ka-po village road but that road has also been blocked by the local residents as it was a village road.