Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP MP seeks clarity on sand-dredging ban



CNRP MP seeks clarity on sand-dredging ban

A photo appears to show sand dredging last month in Koh Kong. Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay has requested clarity on the dredging activity despite the Ministry of Mines and Energy's ban in the area. Mother Nature
A photo appears to show sand dredging last month in Koh Kong. Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay has requested clarity on the dredging activity despite the Ministry of Mines and Energy's ban in the area. Mother Nature

CNRP MP seeks clarity on sand-dredging ban

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay yesterday submitted a letter to National Assembly President Heng Samrin to forward to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem requesting more information on sand-dredging operations and a sand-processing facility in Koh Kong province, following a recent ban on exports from the area.

While Chhay congratulated the ministry for permanently banning sand exports from Koh Kong, he said there are still a few loopholes in the new measures, such as a recently built sand-washing facility within the Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary.

“We want the ministry to explain when they are going to dismantle or get rid of those facilities to ensure that those operations don’t continue in this area,” Chhay said by phone yesterday.

Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said he had not yet seen the letter, and didn’t know whether it would be signed by Samrin and sent on to Sem.

According to the letter, the ministry’s prakas and guidelines don’t include the Andoung Tuek River, and large-scale dredging is approved in two areas of the Koh Por River, with no limit on the number of operations.

Chhay added that he also wants the ministry to provide more details on the areas where sand dredging is allowed.

Chhay in the letter also requests information on the kind of mechanism the ministry will use to enforce the measures.

“Because within the last 10 years, billions of tonnes of sand and mud-sand were [extracted] and smuggled illegally from Koh Kong,” the letter reads.

Chhay is also still waiting to receive a response on his request for clarification on silica sand exports, which he submitted in mid-June.

“If they don’t officially respond to us, [the ministry] is not just violating the Constitution, but is raising concerns that the ministry has something to hide – that they’ve done something wrong,” he said.

Under the Constitution, a minister must provide a verbal or written response within seven days of receiving the questions.

The Mines Ministry said yesterday that some elements of the request fell outside of its purview and that it would seek advice on how to respond.

If Sem does not respond, Chhay said they can begin a process to impeach him, though he didn’t know “how cooperative” the ruling party members would be.

At least 30 members of parliament need to request impeachment in order to push the matter to a vote in the Assembly, which is controlled by the ruling party.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from