Speaking at a pagoda inauguration on Saturday, Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong said City Hall is looking to move warehouses and automobile repair shops out of the city centre to the outskirts to reduce pollution and traffic congestion – a move Hun Sen’s sister Hun Sinath criticised as “burning votes” before the upcoming commune elections in a Facebook post the same day.
City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey said yesterday that the surge of road users has caused traffic congestion and road damage, which could be alleviated by diverting heavy trucks to the outskirts.
“The container trucks cause road damage and when [they] get into Phnom Penh, it causes traffic jams. So we don’t want those container trucks to be inside Phnom Penh,” he said, adding that repair shops and cause noise pollution and take up space on roadsides.
Measpheakdey said the idea remains a “vision”. When asked what would happen if a vehicle breaks down in the city centre, he said: “We will use other trucks to carry vehicles that break down along the way.”
On her Facebook page yesterday, Sinath voiced her criticism of the plan. “What the governor said is like burning the votes for the election. I don’t know how the higher officials would think about it,” she wrote.
Institute for Road Safety Director Ear Chariya said City Hall’s plan does not address the root cause of the problem.
“City Hall should look at the restaurants that have no parking lots and vendors who sell on the streets . . . [They] should strengthen public transportation and create more public parking spots,” he said.