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City hits brakes on illegal gas

An attendant at a gas station fills a moto with gas yesterday afternoon
An attendant at a gas station fills a moto with gas yesterday afternoon. Phnom Penh municipality has counted 109 legal gas stations and 205 illegal ones. Pha Lina

City hits brakes on illegal gas

The Phnom Penh government is planning to take action against illegal petrol stations around the city, and has counted 205 of them so far.

Chreang Sophan, Phnom Penh deputy governor, said at the opening of a Total station in Tuol Kork district on Monday that the municipality will have technicians come and assess the illegal service stations before they can become legal, so that potential public safety threats are stamped out.

Illegal petrol stations far outnumber legal ones: Phnom Penh municipality found 109 legal stations, compared with 205 illegal ones, along with many other streetside vendors who sell petrol in bottles.

“We do not allow them to operate illegally like this, because there can be incidents. They did not have any experts to control their systems for safety, so we are ordering them to complete the registration process legally,” Sophan said.

He added that Phnom Penh municipality will educate all those who sell petrol in bottles on the street to have fire extinguishers on hand.

Moung Chan, 35, a streetside petrol vendor, said that to get the same amount of petrol available from him for 5,200 ($1.30) riel would cost 5,500 riel at a service station.

“We sell cheaper than the station. We think that’s why the stations are never happy with us, but we have to sell it cheaper so we can attract customers,” he said.

Another seller, who declined to be named, said that streetside petrol vendors are small businesses and so can’t afford to care about technicians or meeting safety standards.

“We are not a company, so we do not have much money to think about standards. We are used to selling petrol but we have not had any incidents,” the seller said.

Long Dimanche, City Hall spokesman, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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