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'City of tomorrow'

Dear Editor,

The "City of Tomorrow" article (Phnom Penh Post, Mar 30-Apr 2, 2001) was

wrong on several counts.

Detailed mathematical modelling of the water flow upstream and downstream of Chaktomuk

shows that the current works by Phnom Penh Municipality will not have a negative

impact on bank erosion, fish migration and the overall stability of the Junction.

This is in contrast to the Post's claims of increrased flooding, reduction in the

tonnage of ships that can dock at Phnom Penh Port and even bridge collapse. A Post

reporter was repeatedly told in a taped interview with MRC staff on 23 April that

technically the Municipality works have no negative impact on the river.

Your article also claims an amount of $800 million which certainly has never been

cited by the MRC Secretariat.

To date, the MRC Secretariat, together with the Cambodia National Mekong Committee

and the project staff of the Chaktomuk Project Management Unit, have made a thorough

study on the hydrodynamic condition of the Chaktomuk junction. The works by the City,

and possible impacts, have been jointly assessed in a close collaboration between

the MRC and the Phnom Penh Municipality.

In May 2001, following a consultation with stakeholders and experts, a final project

plan will be submitted to the Government of Cambodia recommending short-term priority

activities and further long-term strategies for ensuring the health of the river

at Chaktomuk Junction well into the future.

- Joern Kristensen, CEO, Mekong River Commission

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