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