An inter-ministerial committee has set up nine technical working groups to inspect and monitor the construction techniques being utilised to build 38 roads in Siem Reap town.
These working groups will assess the work of the construction crews implementing these projects by regularly inspecting each construction site in person so that all road-building crews operate under the legally required conditions for worker and public safety and correctly make use of standard and approved construction techniques.
Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Kong Vimean told The Post on December 14 that each working group had to submit reports on day-to-day activities once every two weeks to the work evaluation and inspection groups as well as the inter-ministerial committee.
“One of the nine technical working groups is the construction and cadastral [surveying] working group who are involved in the production of the basic blueprints intended for use across the whole of Siem Reap town,” he said.
Transparency International Cambodia executive director Pech Pisey said the technical working groups should be set up in a manner that divides important roles between them and defines each group’s duties clearly so that the inspection of the construction work will go smoothly.
“If too many groups oversee the work, it’s like having too many cooks in the kitchen and then you might scorch your sticky rice cakes. So, two or three working groups should have been set up instead with smaller groups going to inspect the work,” he said.
Pisey urged accountability and transparency in the use of public money to carry out these projects, whether it is the 38-road renovation project in Siem Reap town or any other government planned infrastructure or improvements.
Public Works minister Sun Chanthol said on December 14 that among the nine technical working groups were teams tasked with inspecting the quality of roads, monitoring road construction projects, monitoring rain sewage network and wastewater sewage-related construction, oversight of security camera installation, oversight and placement of traffic lights, and oversight of landscaping projects such as the planting of trees.
There are also working groups studying road urbanisation, designs, road architecture, public roads and various architectural designs relating to the projects.
The 38-road project in Siem Reap town will add or revamp a total of 108.74km of roads. The construction of these roads will cost over $140 million.
Another $9 million will be spent on essential work involving the construction of rainwater and wastewater sewage networks, made necessary in part by the impact of the added paved surface area in Siem Reap town.
It is expected to take 13 months for the roads to be constructed, and plans call for construction to be completed by the end of 2021.
The 38 roads are to be divided into four types. The first type will be roads in tourist areas which will see heavy traffic and that already have good drainage capacity. They are to be paved with 5cm-thick asphalt-concrete tarmac.
The second type of road will also be constructed in high traffic tourist areas, but in places where drainage could be an issue. These roads are to be built with 20cm-high concrete and rebar and then paved with 7cm-thick asphalt-concrete tarmac.
The third type of road to be built will be those outside of high traffic areas or tourist areas. They will be built with 20cm-thick concrete and rebar, with no additional paving.
The fourth type of road to be constructed will be the roads that detour outside or around town. Roads that are still in good condition will just be newly paved with asphalt-concrete tarmac. Road sections that are in bad condition will have to be rebuilt completely starting with 25cm-thick concrete and rebar.