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Businesses asked to relocate

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The Phnom Penh Municipal Hall urges households, businesses and waste collection companies to properly manage waste disposal in the capital to avoid odour and messes. H Hong Menea

Businesses asked to relocate

The Phnom Penh Municipal Hall has requested owners of factories, enterprises, warehouses and garages to relocate to the outskirts along the capital’s third ring road, which is still under construction and expected to be completed by 2021.

It said the facilities’ locations in the city centre have frequently caused heavy traffic congestion and traffic accidents.

In an announcement dated February 26, the city hall said numerous businesses have encroached on pavements and public streets, blocking traffics and subsequently causing accidents.

It also said various enterprises and factories have exacerbated the problems by using heavy trucks to transport their goods in the capital during daytime despite repeated warnings, traffic law education and administrative actions by the city hall.

The municipal authority suggested the businesses move to the Chinese-funded 48km ring road, which runs from the Prek Pnov Bridge in Prek Pnov district and snakes through national roads 3, 2 and 21 before connecting with National Road 1 at Km24+840. The road is 25m in width and has four lanes.

Kong Ratanak, deputy director of the Road Safety Institute, said the proposed relocation will inevitably affect businesses. He urged the city hall and business owners to hold frequent discussions in a quest for a win-win solution.

“Generally speaking, the impact would be inevitable, but I think the authorities have already assessed the potential impact on business owners."

“The long-term benefits [from the relocation] should be considered . . . it’s better to move than to continue causing heavy congestion in the capital,” he said.

In a separate directive posted on its official Facebook page on Tuesday, the city hall urged households, markets and other businesses including waste collection companies to properly manage waste disposal in the capital to avoid odour and messes.

For businesses that produce solid waste such as brick, tile, concrete and sand, the directive bans arbitrary disposal at places not approved by the authorities.

Enterprises that produce hazardous waste such as cloth, sponge, mud, rubber, glasses, ceramics and paint are prohibited from disposing the waste on both public and private compounds and instead required to dispose them at assigned industrial dump sites.

Failure to comply with the directive will result in a fine of up to 200,000 riel ($50) according to the government’s waste management sub-decree – or a fine of up to five million riel and business closure if the waste is found to have an adverse impact on the environment in accordance with the law on “environment protection and natural resource management”.

The fines would be tripled in case of repeated offences, the directive stated.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told The Post on Wednesday that the authorities would continue to raise public awareness.

“Law enforcement is what we should do as we already have the existing legal framework. But we also want them to be more aware of the issue. Most people do not understand as yet, so if we start to impose a fine, it will seem like we are doing it too hastily.”

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