One of the priorities for the Myanmar government in their development of the country is to improve the infrastructure (= the set of basic facilities and systems necessary for an society to function, e.g roads, electricity grid, water supplies). The roading system is critical, especially as in Myanmar there are a large number of people living in remote areas.
This is a mock IELTS Reading test.
You have 25 minutes to complete the test.
There are thirteen IELTS style questions,
7 matching headings
3 summary completion
3 short answer
The reading text is below.
1) You begin the test by entering your details in the answer sheet.
2) Once you do this, you will have access to the 13 questions.
3) Read the questions and prepare to answer (e.g. identify key ideas, keywords, synonyms, predictions)
4) Once you begin the test, you have 25 minutes to complete the questions and enter your answers into the answer sheet. The answer sheet will automatically close after 25 minutes.
Despite solid economic growth since 2011, reducing income-based and broader forms of poverty is the single most important challenge facing Myanmar. This challenge is made more difficult by problems in bringing public services to the poor and vulnerable. In 2015, 32% of the population lived below the poverty line and another 14% was classified “near poor.” Much of the country’s rural population has limited access to basic services or markets, so an improved rural road network will help promote economic and social inclusion nationwide and in remote areas by enhancing job opportunities and incomes for disadvantaged and marginalized groups.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) studies on rural access in Myanmar have found that four million people live in villages that are not connected by road and that 40% of Myanmar’s rural population live in villages without access to all-season roads. Another 20,000 villages with an estimated 10 million people are connected by roads that are not passable during the rainy season.
Myanmar needs to build or upgrade more than 50,000 km of rural roads by 2030. It has a 95,000 km rural road network, of which 6% is paved and 28% has an improved (gravel or stone) surface, typically in poor condition To meet the national target to connect 80% of registered villages by 2030, the government estimates that Myanmar needs to upgrade about 42,000 km of existing rural roads and construct 10,000 km of new roads.
Myanmar has a high risk of disaster triggered by natural hazards, which is compounded by insufficient disaster resilience of the road network. Following severe events, the logistics system frequently collapses, cutting access to villages, and entire regions sometimes cannot be reached by emergency response. In 2015, catastrophic floods and landslides displaced 1.6 million people and resulted in economic loss equivalent to 3.1% of Myanmar’s gross domestic product. The 2015 floods washed away about 900 bridges and damaged more than 1,000 km of rural roads. Rural unpaved roads are particularly vulnerable to damage during the rainy season.
The sustainability of Myanmar’s rural road network is generally low because of lack of adequate upkeep. Rural road maintenance funding was introduced in 2014, but much of this funding is concentrated on a limited portion of the rural road network, leaving most of the network without any maintenance. The implementation systems for maintenance are not well developed, leading to delays in implementation and putting a high burden on the Department of Rural Road Development (DRRD) for supervision and inspection.
The DRRD under the Ministry of Construction (MOC) faces frequent damages to rural roads that are addressed through annual emergency maintenance. However, the current contracting mechanisms cause delays in procurement, leaving disaster-damaged roads unrepaired and affected villages without access for extended periods. Many roads face repeated damage each year, but the DRRD lacks the capacity to remedy the issues.
The upgrading of existing unpaved roads to paved standard does not cause significant adverse environmental impacts. Anticipated impacts include the generation of dust and noise, and exhaust fumes from haul trucks and hot mix plants; waste from construction and worker camps; water contamination; and occupational health and safety hazards. These construction impacts are temporary, localized, and can be mitigated through practices and measures defined in an environmental management plan.
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