June 26, 2015
H.E. Mr. Tateshi HIGUCHI, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar, and U Thurein Win, Managing Director of the Myanma Railways (MR), Ministry of Rail Transportation, Myanmar, signed the grant contract for “The Project for Strengthening Rail Transportation of Yangon Circular Line” today. Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects (GGP) scheme covers the costs of US$749,926 for shipping 10 DMUs (KIHA 40 and KIHA 48), and for technical training on maintenance, provided by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

Yangon Circular Line (YCL) commenced to operate in 1877. The number of passenger of YCL is around 100,000 persons every day. Most of YCL passengers are venders and students since railway is the most economical means for transportation. Schedule of YCL is often not punctual since DMUs and Locomotives are overage and prone to be broken.

In order to improve the shortage of rail cars and to contribute for convenience for passengers, the JR East will provide 10 DMUs (KIHA 40 and KIHA 48), and technical training on maintenance under GGP scheme. The project will improve the rail transportation of the YCL, which is one of the most important transportation means for the grass-root level. The project will benefit approx. 100,000 Yangon Circular Line passengers per day or 30,000,000 passengers per year.

The Government of Japan has assisted 727 various grass-roots projects in Myanmar under the GGP scheme since 1993, the number consisting of 328 education projects, 192 healthcare projects, 138 public welfare and environment projects, 34 infrastructure projects and 35 other projects. It is anticipated that these assistances will further strengthen the existing friendly relations between Myanmar and Japan.