The military council is preparing a new road on land it will confiscate from rice farmers in Putao, northern Kachin State, to connect Buma Army (BA) IB 46 with the airport.
According to a local, red flagpoles marking the road have been planted in the middle of the rice fields in Ho Fai. He said the BA wants to shorten the time it takes to reach the airport from its current route through Kawng Ka Htawng.
”If they’re attacked, they cannot mobilise troops and that’s why they want to construct the new road so that they can reach the airport through two different routes.”
At Ho Fai, more than 300 acres are at stake. No one knows for sure how much of the land will be affected by the new route.
The source explained that farmers complained about the project in a letter to the Kachin State Administration Council and Northern Military Command on August 31.
”The farmers depend on their paddy fields for their daily survival and will suffer without them,” the source told KNG.
Dakwam Ring, the head of Putao Airport Administration and Peram Hpong San, from the Department of Land Management for Putao Township, are responsible for marking the new route along with other staff.
“I suspect they’ll build a bridge over a small river. Vehicles can cross it in Summer, but with a bridge they can use the road all year round,” the source said, doubting they’ll let the locals use the road.
Residents of Lay Yin Kwin, Kawng Ka Htawng, Per Inn and Loung Suit wards in Putao town have farms in Ho Fai.