Villagers forced to plant trees near the Rangoon-Akyab Highway in Min Bya Township
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People who live in villages near the Ra Maung Bridge in Min Bya Township have been forced by the local military authority to plant trees along the Rangoon -Akyab Highway.
Light Infantry Battalion (379) based in Min Bya forced the Village Peace and Development Council to get the villagers to plant three trees per household. These three trees were to be bought from the Battalion seedling orchards for 300 kyats and no other plants were allowed to use.
This arrangement is getting two birds by a stone policy, says a private teacher from Min Bya. It reduces the cost of the tree and plantation for the Ministry of Construction and the local Battalion also makes a profit.
The trees are said to be planted starting from the opposite end of Ra Maung Bridge to Min Bya and along the Highway towards Mrae Bone. The plan of plantation road length is 4 miles.
Villagers from Mirte Nar Roa, Daunt Chay Roa, Min Roa, Shwe Zin Gaung Roa, Kawa Sonee, Thinn Bone Chaung are being forced to plant the trees.
Those who could not and would not plant the trees have to give 500 kyats to the village Peace and Development Council and the village branch of USDA. They will plant the trees on their behalf.
The villagers not only have to plant the trees, but they have to make sure they grow too. If the trees die, they were to be replaced by the villagers themselves says a villager.