It was learned from locals that each household unable to take turns watching fire has to pay MMK 15000 in some townships in Yangon Region.
In addition, a man from Mee Kwat Zay (Market) in Hlaing Thayar said that MMK 5,000 are being charged per house for the construction of a fire watch hut.
He explained, “They (people from ward administrative office) said that they had to build fire watch huts before the summer came, and each house in the neighborhood had to pay MMK 5,000. Once the huts have been built, each house have to watch the fire,” he explained.
In addition, he explained that if someone is unable to wait on the day of the fire watch, he must report to the relevant ward office one day in advance and pay MMK 15,000 as a rental fee. He continued that failure to do so without prior notice would result in a fine of MMK 50,000.
“Only on January 20th, the fire brigade team came to put up a fire warning paper and charged me MMK 10,000 as a paperwork fee. Yesterday, they (the ward administrative office) collected donations to build a fire watch tent. I told them that I didn’t have any money. But they forced me to pay it. I borrowed money from the house next door and gave it to them. They are collecting money for donations for various reasons in the neighborhood and it’s a lot of times,” said a woman in Minglardon Township who did not want to be named.
It is reported that ward administrators charge MMK 5,000 per house to build a fire watch hut and up to MMK 30,000 for houses that can afford it.
“Yesterday, they just came to collect the money. At night, the group of them were drinking at a beer shop. I think they were drinking with the money they collected to build a fire watch tent,” said a man who lives near the Wire Lat Bus Stop in Mingaladon Township.
After the military coup, members of the ward administration office have been collecting more money for various reasons, and the collecting are worse in Hlaing Tharyar, Shwe Pyithar, Insein, North Oakkalar, and Mingaladon townships.
Editor: Ko San