- In 1996-1997, according to government statistics, Burma had a total of 30,153 kilometers (18,695 miles) of roads, of which 16,439 kilometers (10,192 miles) were unpaved. Most major roads run south to north, along the valleys of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) and Sittang (Sittoung) Rivers. Road networks serving the states are much less developed than those in central Burma, though an extensive road network, financed by China, has been built in recent years in Shan State near the China-Burma border (apparently not included in the above statistics). The condition of most roads, including the paved ones, is poor, because of the severe rainy season, wear-and-tear by overloaded trucks, and poor maintenance. Rural communities are obliged by the authorities to keep roads in a minimal state of repair, a major reason for forced labor.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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