Many visit Siem Reap province’s Angkorian-era temples for the views and the atmosphere, but the Apsara Authority wants to find out if that atmosphere is toxic.
French company Bollore Group, whose subsidiary Blue Solutions is vying to bring electric vehicles to the temples, is donating air pollution sensors to test the air quality at the 401-square-kilometre UNESCO World Heritage Site, said Sok Sangvar, head of tourism management planning at Apsara Authority, which oversees the temple area.
A new working group will use the mobile devices to test air quality and emissions from specific types of vehicles, Sangvar said. The action is a proactive measure, which will tell Apsara Authority officials if pollution in the air could damage treasured land and artefacts.
“There’s an increasing amount of vehicles” in the Angkor area, Sangvar said, adding that no immediate danger to residents, visitors or temples is currently apparent.
“We are assessing [it].… The concept of the working group here is very much about preventing.”
Tests have not yet been scheduled, but their results will be presented to the Apsara Authority, which will decide whether any action should be taken, Sangvar said.
“Any action or any policy would not be ‘Let’s close down the temple and not allow the drivers in anymore,’” he added.