The Kampot provincial authority on Tuesday set a 20-day deadline for the owners of 19 tourist boats to relocate from the east to the west side of the Praek Tuek Chhu river in order to preserve the town’s natural beauty and ensure the safety of visitors to Kampot.
However, the owners have asked it to solve the traffic problems and clean up the new location. They said the road to the new site is narrow and frequently congested.
Kampot provincial governor Cheav Tay said on Wednesday that he had noticed that the area on the east side of the river was small and had become disorderly.
Therefore, he said, the authority had held a discussion about preparing a new location for the boat owners on the other side of the river.
He said the west side had more space and would provide a beautiful location for them to operate, and the authority also wanted both sides of the river to attract more tourists.
“We gave them 20 days to move to the new site in Andong Khmer commune, between the land opposite the provincial hall and the 440m Old Bridge [also known as the Entanou Bridge], by December 15.
“I would like to say that in terms of safety, the new site is better, but some of them are concerned that their customers will not find them. I explained that they needed to relocate and not to be too concerned about lacking customers,” he said.
The governor said the number of local and international tourists visiting the province was continuing to rise, but that brought with it some challenges regarding public order, sanitation and cleanliness.
That is why the provincial hall and relevant institutions have initiated a policy to relocate the boats, he said, with the aim of better developing the province and improving the area’s aesthetics.
Boat owner Pon Ra said on Wednesday that the governor had summoned him and the other operators to inform them about the relocation policy.
“We have no objection if that is what the authority requires, but we are concerned about the small road that provides access to the new site, and there is no space for customers to park their motorbikes and cars. Also, the bridge is the only one in the area.
“The traffic is very bad there. Our customers are used to coming to the old place and they don’t know the new site.
“So we need to spend a lot of time advertising about the move and spreading the word to our customers about the new location,” he said.