Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry to ‘secretly’ inspect national road constructions

Ministry to ‘secretly’ inspect national road constructions

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The ministry’s newly formed working group will inspect the quality of roads across Cambodia without giving prior notice to contractors, according to secretary of state and spokesman Pal Chandara. MPWT

Ministry to ‘secretly’ inspect national road constructions

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport announced it will “secretly inspect” Cambodian roads to ensure their quality meets the Kingdom’s standards.

Pal Chandara, secretary of state and spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said a newly formed working group would inspect the Kingdom’s road network without giving prior notice to contractors.

“The working group will scrutinise construction with modern machinery. Technicians will secretly inspect projects to improve construction and if the group finds they are not up to standard, the ministry will require [the companies] to do whatever it takes to meet them.

“We do not [care for excuses], if a road does not meet standards then companies which signed a contract with the ministry [will be punished]. Companies must be responsible under the law,” he told The Post on Tuesday, stressing the impetus for the inspections is due to the fact that previous road projects were of poor quality.

Minister Sun Chanthol told media on Monday that the ministry had a number of resources, including independent experts, technical inspectors and ministry-sanctioned inspectors at its disposal to ensure that the work is done correctly.

“The group works under me. They don’t need to report to any directorate or secretariat. The group has enough cars and [tools]. I’ve ordered them to begin carrying out inspections immediately.

Large stretches of Cambodian roads are built using the Double Bituminous Surface Treatment (DBST) method.

DBST roads – made by layering asphalt and tarmac together – are often used in developing countries as the cost of construction is lower than the alternative Asphalt Concrete (AC), but can only be used for five years.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol. Heng Chivoan

AC roads have been used for National Roads No 6, No 1, No 21, No 4 and No 7.

In May, the government announced that it had secured $60 million of interest-free loans from the World Bank to upgrade 218km of National Roads No 3 and No 7 to AC.

Chanthol said that National Roads No 5 and No 3 were currently being upgraded to AC.

“Traffic is heavier than before and Cambodia is starting to convert some [DBST] roads into AC. They will be laid with thick asphalt-concrete tarmac and durable DBST. It isn’t economically responsible to build every road using AC because provincial roads have less traffic,” the minister said.

The executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, Preap Kol, told The Post he believed the inspections should be carried out openly with other parties being allowed to participate in the ministry’s objective.

“We do not need to do something secretly as long as we have skills, technicians, and knowledge of engineering concepts.

“We should inspect construction contracts and then choose locations to their quality,” Kol said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment