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Prime minister orders road to Preah Vihear to be paved

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The ongoing dispute with Thailand over territory around the Hindu ruins lends urgency to infrastructure improvements

HENG CHIVOAN

Remote Preah Vihear temple will be reachable by a paved road next year.

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ulldozers, excavators and other road construction equipment have been sent by military engineers to Anlong Veng and Trapaing Prasat districts to help construct an 80-kilometre road connecting Anlong Veng town to Preah Vihear temple as interest in the historic ruins grows.

"I got orders from Prime Minister Hun Sen to pave the road from Anlong Veng district town to Sa Em village, Kantout commune, Choam Ksan district, Preah Vihear and to finish it as soon as possible," said Kvan Siem, commander of military engineers at General Command Headquarters.

Kvan Siem expects that the road will take just over a year to complete.

"It is a very important road. We need it to be finished as soon as possible in order to make traffic flow smoothly," Kvan Siem said.

"The government expects more people to be travelling to the site and has ordered the road to be built as soon as possible," said one RCAF general who asked to remain anonymous.

While the amount of funds for the construction of the road has not yet been released, Hun Sen advised Deputy Prime Minister Sok An in a Council of Ministers meeting on Friday to use charitable funds, including money raised by the Bayon TV foundation, to pave the road.

Seng Savorn, director of the Council of Ministers, said that government funds will be used to pave the stretch of road from Anlong Veng district to Sa Em,  and the funds from Bayon TV's foundation will be used to construct a connecting road up the hill to the temple.

Huot Kheang Veng, assistant to Hun Mana, Bayon TV's director, said that he is unaware of Hun Sen's order to use the station's foundation funds to link to Preah Vihear temple, an increasingly popular tourist site.

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