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Authority wants less social impact from road project

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Koh Kong Provincial Administration officials attending a consultative meeting on the environmental impact caused by the Road 1551 construction project. Photo supplied

Authority wants less social impact from road project

The Koh Kong Provincial Administration requested an inter-ministerial working group and construction company contracted to build Road 1551 – a new name for National Road 10 – to minimise the environmental impact caused by the construction project.

The new road will link Koh Kong province’s Khemarak Phoumin town to Battambang province’s Samlot district via Pursat province’s Veal Veng district.

The Koh Kong Provincial Administration made the request during a consultative meeting on the comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment report for Road 1551 project on December 3.

Koh Kong deputy provincial governor Ouk Pheaktra, who attended the meeting, said the provincial administration supported the project.

However, it requested relevant ministries and the construction company to deal with social and environmental impacts, such as on residential land and plantations, appropriately.

“[We] propose a significant reduction in the impact of deforestation, as most [of these road construction projects] are in protected areas.

“[We] asked the companies to strengthen their staff management and notify the relevant authorities, especially the Koh Kong Provincial Administration, of people who commit illegal logging or hunt wildlife in the forest,” Pheaktra said.

According to a report by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the construction of Road 1551 broke ground on March 9 in a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.

The road, which will cost more than $188 million, is funded by the Chinese government and stretches more than 198km.

Currently, the construction of the road, which started in Pursat province, is 40 per cent complete. The road has the potential to boost the export of agricultural products, especially to facilitate the efficient transportation of goods to cut logistics delivery time.

Koh Kong Provincial Hall spokesman Sok Sothy confirmed on December 3 that the provincial administration wanted the impact of the road construction to be minimal.

“The road construction project affects the rubber plantations of about 15 to 20 families. We urge the project contractors to minimise the project’s impact on the people in the community,” he said.

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