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Buckle up for traffic snarls

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Motorists vie for position at an intersection in Phnom Penh. City Hall has announced that several major roads will be closed during the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh later this week. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Two major boulevards and six arterial side streets will be closed starting as early as tomorrow, and more than 10,000 security forces will be deployed for the duration of the ASEAN Summit, said city hall officials.

In addition to Norodom and Russian boulevards, six roads extending from Russian Boulevard will be blocked off, according to a Phnom Penh Municipality statement dated Thursday. Venders and shop owners working on the main boulevards are asked to suspend business from November 13 to the 23.

“City Hall expects and believes that the travelers and the sellers along Russian and Norodom Blvd forgive and understand in order to cooperate with this,” the order continues.

While the summit runs from the 15th to the 20th, the extended security measures are needed to accommodate delegates who will begin arriving as early as Tuesday, said the National Police spokesman, Lieutenant General Kirth Chantharith.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post


More than 10,000 security personnel including members of the police, military police, Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit, and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, will be posted during the summit, Chantharith said yesterday.

“We deployed some forces already many days ago and more forces will be posted on November 13 when the delegates start coming,” he said. “Authorities will be deployed day and night.”

Chantharith urged understanding over the messy traffic situation expected to ensue.

“We know the traffic will be difficult for the people, that is why City Hall informed them in advance – to make them cooperate and forgive this situation,” he said.

Despite the pleas for sympathy, however, the announcement was met with no small amount of grumbling – especially from affected shop owners.

“It will affect my income, but I do not have a choice,” said Channy, who owns a plant shop located on Russian Boulevard and was told by police she would have to shutter her business for 10 days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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