Cable cars, airport to open up Preah Vihear

Cable cars, airport to open up Preah Vihear

An Indian company has unveiled a multimillion-dollar proposal to build an airport serving Preah Vihear temple, a senior government official said on May 14.

Hang Soth, the director of the Preah Vihear National Authority, said the proposal by Mumbai-based Skil Infrastructure Ltd included building a cable car to the top of the escarpment graced by the ancient 11th century Hindu monument.

Soth said a five-member company team had arranged further talks with the government after visiting the temple, and the proposed airport site 32 kilometers away, on April 30. The airport needs to be some distance from the temple to minimize the risk of damage caused by vibration.

Soth said the company planned to hold detailed talks on its proposal with Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

The government was yet to make a decision, said Soth, who added: "I really hope they can do it."

Soth said the proposal had the potential to make Preah Vihear as popular a tourist attraction as Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat.

Cambodian officials hope the temple will be listed this year as a World Heritage Site, further raising its profile.

But efforts to secure this designation have been bogged down in a dispute with Thailand over ownership of the surrounding land.

Soth said the company had considerable experience in cable car projects, having built six in Vietnam. "So they could do it here," he said.

Preah Vihear province deputy governor Long Sovann said he welcomed any project that would help to increase the number of tourists visiting the temple.

He said challenging road conditions limited the number of tourists visiting the temple to between 60 and 100 a day during the rainy season and up to 200 a day during the high season.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said a study would have to be undertaken to assess the suitability of the proposal by Skil Infrastructure, which also wanted to invest in Kampong Chhnang Airport.

Khon said 110,000 tourists visited the heritage site last year, and the figure was expected to rise once road access to the area was improved.

Prime Minister Hun Sen last month inaugurated a project to build a 118-kilometer road linking Preah Vihear's provincial capital T'beng Meanchey with the temple.

Work on the road project is due to start late this year and be completed within 45 months.

It will bring to three the number of roads providing access to the temple, with two in Cambodia, from Siem Reap and Kampong Thom, and the other in Thailand.

Skil Infrastructure's website says it specializes in building transport infrastructure and special economic zones.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • South Korea’s Moon arrives in Kingdom for state visit

    South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday at the start of a three-day state visit to Cambodia to strengthen ties and further the friendship between the two countries. After arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport in the