A state-of-the-art subway in impoverished Burma?

Photo taken on March 26, 2010 shows a Myanmar man riding his motorcycle past the construction site of the country's new parliament building in Naypyidaw.

A Russian firm is poised to construct a 31-mile state-of-the art subway in Burma, formally known as Myanmar, according to Voice of Russia radio.

This is an unexpected development in a country where many travel dirt lanes and get by without regular electricity.

But the subway, if ever completed, could be a showpiece project in Burma's unusual new capital, Naypyidaw. The city is described by those who've been as an isolated, thinly populated and heavily guarded center for civil servants and not much else. (The largest city and center of business, Yangon, was abandoned as the capital in 2006.)

The Democratic Voice of Burma, which has obtained leaked design plans for the subway, compares the new capital to North Korea's Pyongyang.

Both are orderly, centrally planned urban centers largely set aside for those with government connections.

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