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Ministry mandates construction site inspections

People try to recover cars from a sinkhole that appeared next to a Phnom Penh construction site last month.
People try to recover cars from a sinkhole that appeared next to a Phnom Penh construction site last month. Pha Lina

Ministry mandates construction site inspections

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction this week demanded authorities conduct more thorough inspections of construction sites, though officials were uncertain if new funds would be made available to do so.

A statement released on Tuesday ordered city and provincial departments nationwide to inspect and monitor all construction sites, and suspend the activities of companies beginning work without approval.

After visiting Phnom Penh to assess the accident-prone industry in 2014, the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors concluded the Kingdom had a severe lack of building standards and little enforcement of those it did have.

Ministry spokesman Cheam Sophal Makara yesterday admitted not every construction site was inspected, placing the blame on a lack of cooperation. “[Companies] don’t submit proper legal forms,” he said. He added that he didn’t know whether any additional resources would be put towards the new inspection regime.

William Conklin, country director for the Solidarity Center, said he hoped the government was sincere in its desire to reform, but doubted whether it had the capacity. “They don’t have the resources or the manpower,” he said, adding that inspections alone were not enough. “They must pass more thorough regulations.”

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