MUNICIPAL authorities have restricted automobile traffic in the capital’s downtown areas from 10am to 10pm during this year’s Water Festival in an effort to avoid traffic jams and improve security and safety.
The restrictions, outlined by City Hall in a notice on Friday, target all passenger vehicles, lorries, buses and taxis, the letter said.
Checkpoints on all national roads entering Phnom Penh over the weekend were diverting automobile traffic coming from the provinces to areas on the outskirts of the capital.
Sam Chan Ren, deputy director of the municipal Tourism Department, yesterday estimated that up to 3 million visitors had converged on the capital during the first day of Water Festival, leaving the riverfront and adjacent streets throughout the city crowded with pedestrian traffic.
“On the first day of the festival alone, we had about 3 million people from every province visit Phnom Penh, as well as about 3,000 international tourists,” Sam Chan Ren said.
A second notice also issued on Friday further bans heavy trucks transporting construction materials into Phnom Penh until November 23.
“[The city] has to postpone transporting sand, gravel and stone into Phnom Penh for five days,” the letter said.
City Hall also called on all local authorities in Phnom Penh’s eight districts, as well as personnel from the police and military police and other institutions to cooperate fully in implementing the vehicle ban and to ensure safety and security.