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Residents protest water bill rise

ABOUT 300 residents of Banteay Meanchey’s Sisophon district protested outside the provincial hall yesterday, demanding that a local water company lower its prices after the firm introduced a 300 riel price hike on November 1.

Seav Soeut, a 21-year-old resident of the district, said that it was the second time this year that the privately owned Banteay Meanchey Town Water Supply company had raised the price of water.

In January, the company raised the price from 1,000 riel per cubic metre of water to 1,600 riel, he said. At the start of the month, the price increased to 1,900 riel per cubic metre.  

“It is so expensive. We cannot accept the new price,” he said. “We have called for the authorities to give us a discount. We only want to pay 1,000 riel per cubic metre,” adding that they had given a letter of complaint to a provincial official.

Ouk Keo Ratanak, a spokesman at Banteay Meanchey provincial hall, said that he had accepted the complaint letter from the villagers, but indicated that the matter would have to be solved by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy.

He said the company was licensed by the government to supply fresh water to residents of Sisophon district, and that the January increase was the result of an increase in the price of petrol.

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