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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - City wants residents to split cost of road repair

City wants residents to split cost of road repair

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A bulldozer rumbles down Street 7 in front of Wat Botum. Across the city authorities are asking residents to split the cost of road repairs. But Mean Chey District Governor Kuoch Chamroeun concedes that some of the city's residents will be unable to pay.

City hall is working to get all the roads in Phnom Penh paved by the end of 2008.

The plan will split costs with residents and begin with the central districts.

Mann Chhoeun, deputy governor of Phnom Penh municipality, said that 7 Makara will

be the first among seven districts in Phnom Penh to have all its roads paved.

After that will come the two central districts of Daun Penh and Chamkarmon, and then

Tuol Kork.

The outer districts of Dangkor, Mean Chey and Russey Keo are also scheduled to be

completed by the end of 2008.

"Some roads are also being expanded," Chhoeun said. "We are working

smoothly with local residents and they are happy to join with us."

"Happy to join with us" means that the local residents are being asked

to share the costs, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen, who announced the plan at

a December 13 groundbreaking ceremony for the riverside flood protection and drainage

improvement phase II.

Hun Sen ordered city hall authorities to get the roads paved in a 50-50 cost-splitting

arrangement with residents.

"We welcome the participation from the residents to clean up our city environment,"

said Hun Sen.

Residents apparently do not have to pay for the streets surrounding schools. Those

streets are "the responsibility of city hall," he said.

Some roads in Mean Chey and Tuol Kork districts remain dusty, crater-filled moonscapes

that become flooded and peril-filled during the rainy season.

Chhoeun confirmed that those roads will be repaired in the near future.

One resident of Sangkat Boeng Tumpon said that residents are willing to pay to fix

the roads because they are nearly impassable as is.

"Local authorities never care or solve residential matters," said a local

resident who identified himself as Pheap. "We have problems with the poor drainage

and flash flooding. We are ready to help, to repair the road and make a new drainage

system, but they never come."

Kuoch Chamroeun, governor of Mean Chey district, said that 11 roads in the district

are being worked on and authorities are looking for collaboration with local residents

to fix 36 other roads.

However, he said some families could not afford to pay their share of the road building.

"We have some problems with contributions from some local residents," Chamroeun

said. "The living standards of people are not equal."

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