Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry gets told off over bad road quality




Ministry gets told off over bad road quality

Interior Minister Sar Kheng speaks at the Transportation Ministry’s annual review yesterday.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng speaks at the Transportation Ministry’s annual review yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Ministry gets told off over bad road quality

Interior Minister Sar Kheng publicly chided the Transportation Ministry yesterday over the poor quality of National Road 8 and the ministry’s failure to maintain the eastbound highway that cuts across Prey Veng province, where Kheng is the head of the ruling CPP’s working group.

The minister was attending the Ministry of Transportation and Public Work’s annual review meeting in Phnom Penh, where he said the public frequently criticised the ministry’s failure to maintain the quality of the country’s roads, specifically pointing to National Road 8.

“National Road 8, connecting from National Road 6A to National Road 7, is newly constructed, but it is more dilapidated than other older roads,” Kheng said. “This National Road 8 has received maintenance more frequently, but the quality is not ensured.”

He said that in order to win over commuters and the general public, it was critical to ensure the quality of roads. Additionally, Kheng also called on the ministry to increase its efforts to crackdown on overloaded trucks that have caused road deterioration.

Transportation Minister Sun Chanthol yesterday did not address Kheng’s criticisms, and only read out the ministry’s report, which showed that more than 923,000 trucks were inspected for potential overloading, and that 2,953 paid fines totalling $1.4 million over last year.

Ministry spokesman Va Sim Sorya yesterday hung up on a reporter, and his colleague Chan Dara said he was not adequately informed about the issue to comment.

Yos Sam Oeun, the head of the Public Works Department in Ksach Kandal district, which is home to part of National Road 7, claimed the road was regularly maintained, though he stopped short of assessing its quality.

“I do not dare to evaluate if it is damaged unless you come and inspect the road with me,” he said.

However, Chea Leng, the district’s administrative chief, was more forthcoming, saying overloaded trucks had left the road potholed.

“The heavy trucks were overloaded and that damaged our road, and Samdech [Sar Kheng] talked about this rightly,” he said.

National Road 7 was constructed by the Chinese firm Shanghai Construction Group and inaugurated in 2012. China has made a major investment push in infrastructure and road construction in Cambodia, with the two countries recently signing a memorandum of understanding to develop an expressway from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville.

But, San Chey, head of accountability NGO ANSA, said Chinese construction quality had been found wanting when compared to projects funded by the United States or Japan.

“Without proper checking, the Chinese companies can do whatever they want to,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’