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Railway residents told to stay calm over expressway

Protesters demand information last month on the high-speed toll road development at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
Protesters demand information last month on the high-speed toll road development at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. Pha Lina

Railway residents told to stay calm over expressway

Uncertain residents who have protested the lack of information surrounding a planned elevated toll road linking central Phnom Penh and the airport were yesterday urged to remain calm as authorities work out a “solution” for those affected.

“Please all people, stay calm, continue your businesses as usual and give the government a chance to consider finding an acceptable solution for all,” a statement from the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation reads. “The plan of constructing the expressway is under study.”

Last month, on two separate occasions, more than 100 people staged demonstrations at the ministry, calling for a public forum on the proposed expressway, which is expected to be built along the existing railway line.

While urging calm, the ministry’s statement also defends the project as necessary to reduce traffic congestion and give a “huge benefit to the national economy”. There would be impacts on residents but their extent had yet to be determined, it says.

Neang Phanith, 32, who lives along the railway line in Tuol Kork district, said that people were concerned as they had not been offered a public consultation on the project.

“I fear this statement is just to delay the holding of a public forum, and then it will already be time to start construction without prior consultation with residents,” he said.

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