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Phnom Penh park renovation pushes out vendors

Pallets of pavers sit in a park near Phnom Penh’s Chenla Theatre yesterday, where the municipality is building a recreation area.
Pallets of pavers sit in a park near Phnom Penh’s Chenla Theatre yesterday, where the municipality is building a recreation area. Pha Lina

Phnom Penh park renovation pushes out vendors

City Hall is renovating the park in front of the Phnom Penh Cultural Center in Tuol Kork district, a move that will displace taxis and vendors in a bid to reduce congestion and beautify the area, according to spokesman Mean Chanyada.

“We will remove the taxis and vendors from the area,” he said. “For the vendors, they mostly sell in an anarchical way, so when we make it neat, we need to move them out.” The park is about 3,100 square metres and will include a garden, chairs and a water monument. Construction has already begun.

“It will take up to six months to complete,” Chanyada said, adding that the park ideally will be used for relaxing and exercise.

The move was met with predictable dismay by vendors.

“I don’t know where I am going to sell after this garden is completed,” said Phon Mengly, 28, a bread vendor. “I hope they don’t move us.”

Kim Heurn, 54, a taxi driver between Phnom Penh and Takeo, has been using the area for parking for two years.

“I have no idea what this area is going to be because they don’t post any signs to inform us in detail,” he said. “If this is going to be a park, I will need to look for another place for my car.”

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