Monday, 3 March 2014

U Bein Bridge in danger as tourist number increases

MANDALAY-Historians and environmental conservationists have called for an immediate maintenance of the U Bein Bridge, a popular tourist site near Mandalay, amid a growing number of visitors to the historic site.

U Bein Bridge is a teak structure that spans across the Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura Township of Mandalay Region.

"U Bein Bridge has a big historical importance. The bridge was built with the teak pillars from the former Innwa Palace rather than ordinary teak pillars," said Win Maung (Tampawaddy), a Myanmar traditional architect.

"Now, there needs to be an immediate maintenance of the bridge. Such kind of things disgraces the country. Actually, our country is abundant in teak. The number of the teak logs that have been unnecessarily sent to the other country is higher than the ones at the U Bein Bridge. If the forestry department and respective departments cooperate in restoring the bridge to its original condition with new teak pillars, the dignity of U Bein Bridge will become higher," he said.

"A systematic maintenance is needed by carefully drawing up a law to restore the U Bein Bridge to its original condition," said Mickey Hart, a historian. "They can't maintain it as they like. The authorities need to cooperate with experts and handle the water pollution issues in the Taungthaman Lake."

The condition of the over 160-years-old bridge has worsened due to the old age, natural disaster, and the use of bicycles and motorcycles over the bridge.

source: Eleven Myanmar
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