Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry asked about Mekong plan



Ministry asked about Mekong plan

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Members of the Supreme Consultation and Advisory Council on Thursday listen to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem discuss a proposed plan to develop a sizeable stretch of the Mekong River and the recent increase in electricity bills despite a spate of power cuts. Ministry of Mines and Energy

Ministry asked about Mekong plan

A member of the Supreme Consultation Forum told The Post on Thursday that he had questioned the Ministry of Mines and Energy over its position regarding a proposed project to develop a sizeable stretch of the Mekong River.

Pich Sros, president of the Cambodian Youth Party, also raised the subject of the recent increase in electricity bills despite a spate of power cuts.

Sros was speaking after a Supreme Consultation Forum attended by the Minister of Mines and Energy and the chairman of Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) on Thursday.

He said he raised a question to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem regarding the ministry’s stance on a proposed project by the Try Pheap Group Co Ltd for developing an extensive portion of the Mekong.

He told The Post on Thursday that he was worried the development of riversides was being used as a pretext for sand dredging.

“When the sand runs out from dredging, [we] are afraid there will be no support for riverbanks and our rivers will be negatively affected,” he said.

Sros said he wanted the Ministry of Mines and Energy to conduct research on the effects of sand dredging.

Ministry spokesman Yos Monirath told The Post on Thursday that Try Pheap had made a request to the government, with Prime Minister Hun Sen instructing Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, to lead a study to evaluate the project.

The Ministry had therefore yet to take a position as it was still waiting for the assessment study, Monirath said.

According to a Council of Ministers letter dated May 7, the government requested Kean Hor to discuss with the relevant institutions, Try Pheap Engineering and Construction Co Ltd “requesting a principle for permission” to study restoring the banks of the Mekong River from Kandal province’s Ka’am Samnor commune near the Cambodia-Vietnam border to Kampong Cham and Kratie provinces, and the Tonle Bassac.

Sros also asked the chairman of EdC, Keo Ratanak, whether there was a second option for electricity supply when water levels in the reservoirs of hydroelectric dams were low.

“We cannot have only one option. Power outages occurred often recently but electricity bills increased. What solution does EdC have for the citizens who have complained about this throughout the country . . . no electricity but instead increased electricity bills?” Sros asked.

Sros said Ratanak blamed the recent high temperatures and heavy consumption of electricity by the general public.

“I don’t understand this point. I have had this experience. My home did not consume a lot of [electricity] when the temperature was not hot too, but the [electricity bill] still increased.”

The director-general of the General Department of Mines and Energy Victor Zona could not be reached for comment by press time.

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