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PM tells transport firms to follow weight limits

090915_07
A truck waits to offload its cargo at Phnom Penh Port. Prime Minister Hun Sen warned the logistics industry Monday that illegal practices would lead to company closures.

Companies that overload trucks beyond legal limits damage roads and bridges and will be shut down, Hun Sen says

Any companies that still violate [the rules], shut them down.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen ordered senior transport and public works officials Monday to close down logistics firms that violate weight limits for trucks.

Speaking at the launch of the Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge across the Tonle Sap River at Prek Kdam in northern Kandal province, the premier said overloaded trucks damaged the country’s roads and bridges, putting life and property at risk.

“There is only one way to ensure our roads and bridges, to ensure our people’s safety,” he said.

“If we advise [transport companies] and they don’t listen, we will shut down their companies.”

Under Cambodia’s laws, trucks may carry up to 40 tonnes of cargo, but Hun Sen said some trucks transported up to 100 tonnes. He ordered Minister of Public Works and Transport Tram Iv Tek and Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh to work together to ensure that companies repeatedly guilty of overloading were closed down.

“Any companies that still violate [the rules], shut them down,” he said. “We shouldn’t fan away the smoke, we should put out the fire.”

Corruption a problem

He noted that the ministries concerned would also need to take account of low-level corruption, saying that simply weighing trucks would not be sufficient, as drivers could avoid the measure by giving money to officials.

So Nguon, the president of the So Nguon Group of Companies, which includes So Nguon Transportation and Service Import Export Co, said Monday that unlicensed truckers and companies were to blame for road damage due to overloading.

So Nguon, a permanent member of the Cambodian Transport Association, which has around 20 member companies, said that his company and other association members stayed within weight limits.

“Road destruction and bridge collapses are caused by those unlicensed transport trucks,” he said.

“Those unlicensed transport operators also compete dishonestly with us because by overloading, and by not paying taxes to the government, they can charge a cheaper fee to customers,” he added.

So Nguon said the association had already asked Tram Iv Tek to assist it in persuading transport companies to join the association.
Touch Chan Kosal, secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, agreed Monday that the licensed transport companies were not at fault of overloading.

“Soon, we will begin to take action against trucks or lorries that connect additional compartments and overload,” Touch Chan Kosal said.
“Step-by-step, we are advising unlicensed transport operators to open up their companies to legalise their services.”

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