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Chilly reception for ice firm

Chilly reception for ice firm

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Men make ice yesterday in a factory that has drawn the ire of local residents in the capital’s Russey Keo district. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

Residents of Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district say they intermittently huddle in airtight rooms to escape from a nearby ice factory, exposing them to fumes and high levels of noise at all hours of the day.

As many as 30 residents have vacated rental properties close to Super Ice, in the Kilometre 6 commune.

Remaining residents, about 60 families, who say they cannot endure any more noise or fumes, have asked the local authority to take action.

They now fear the iceworks’ owners are building a plastic-making factory on the site.

“The ice factory is operating 24 hours a day, meaning it’s very hard for us to sleep,” resident Hay Houn, 52, said. “The noise at night is much worse than during the day.

“We would like to run away when we hear this sound. We want it to be shut down.”

A private English school that rented a building near the factory had students leaving in droves, Hay Houn said.

A 55-year-old woman who owns rental accommodation said about 30 people had vacated her rooms because they could not endure the noise and the stench.

“My room renters have all left. They are annoyed with the sound and could not sleep well night or day,” she said.

Residents said the factory had been operating for two years, and problems had only worsened during that time.

On October 26, they thumb-printed a complaint, which they filed to authorities.

“The ice factory has bothered the people living nearby,” a resident who did not want to be named said. “It is loud and gives off a bad smell".

“Now it seems a new plastic factory is under construction. We ask the district governor to stop the construction of this building.”

Russey Keo district governor Ly Rozami said she had organised a meeting at which the company’s bosses had promised to build walls around the factory.

“We will continue to observe this case to see whether the company is building a plastic factory. We will intervene if it is,” she said.

An online listing for Super Ice lists a telephone number in the name of Tong Seng, the deputy governor of Kampong Speu province.

When the Post called this number and Seng answered, he denied any connection to the company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]

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