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Ministry dismisses six officials for negligence in road construction

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Minister of Public Works Sun Chanthol expressed dissatisfaction after seeing damage to large parts of the road due to improper construction. POST PIX

Ministry dismisses six officials for negligence in road construction

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has removed six inspectors and supervisors working on the construction of National Road 7 after they were found to be negligent.

Some companies involved in the project were also warned to address the quality of construction or face being placed on a blacklist.

Ministry spokesman Heang Sotheayuth said the ministry had removed the six after they were found to be negligent in inspecting the construction of National Road 7.

On a recent inspection of the project, Minister of Public Works Sun Chanthol expressed dissatisfaction after seeing damage to large parts of the road due to improper construction.

“We instructed the construction and technical inspection companies to rebuild the damaged areas. The minister said the failure to build a quality road seriously affected the honour of Cambodia and the Chinese government alike.

“Consequently, the companies would have to improve the quality of construction,” Sotheayuth said.

The chief technical adviser, the deputy chief technical adviser and four technical advisers had been removed from their positions, Sotheayuth said.

Speaking at the inspection on Wednesday, the minister said the damage was caused by companies improperly laying the asphalt-concrete tarmac.

Cracks in the road had been caused either by the improper mixing of the tarmac or by it being laid incorrectly.

“Having inspected the site, we saw that the companies are either using the wrong techniques or they are mixing tarmac sparsely to increase profit. They could be placed on a blacklist banning them from bidding for other construction projects.

“We will carry out further inspections. If the work continues being found not up to standard, we will consider excluding them from bidding for projects by telling the World Bank to no longer allow them to join in the bidding process.

“They would not be included among the companies allowed to build roads in Cambodia,” Chanthol said.

One of the six technical officials from Korea Consultants International (KCI), who asked not to be named, said on Thursday that he had regularly monitored the building of stretches of National Road 7.

When he spotted a fault, he told the company’s foreman but he failed to listen to his instructions. “Upon seeing the fault, I told him not to do it again, but he continued to do so,” he said.

A representative of Sichuan Road and Bridge (Group) Corporation Ltd, the contractor on the National Road 7 project, could not be reached by The Post for comment on Thursday.

San Chey, the executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (Ansa), said the removal of the officials responsible for shoddy construction on the project was a positive start.

However, he said there had been several improperly built roads which suggested checks should be carried out on a wider scope.

“We have seen other examples of poor road-building such as on National Road 6A, which required the construction company to pay compensation. However, the sparse mixing of tarmac in road construction is still common,” Chey said.

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