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Siem Reap villagers block road over trucks

Siem Reap villagers block road over trucks

A crowd of about 30 villagers in Siem Reap’s Srei district blocked a main road leading to a village for half a day yesterday and all of Wednesday as part of a successful protest calling for a ban on sand-transportation trucks they say have damaged the road.

Wat village chief Lay Ke said he received a complaint thumb-printed by 102 families before the Pchum Ben holiday demanding the road be fixed.

There are three sand-dredging sites in his village, which are run by individual villagers, he said, adding that a neighbouring town also has two sites. “They buy the land and they dig a sandpit, measuring about 20 to 30 metres in depth and about 5 metres in width,” he said.

The trucks transporting sand travel back and forth on the road for up to six times a day, carrying about three to six cubic metres of sand, Ke said.

Meas Dorany, director of the provincial department of Mines and Energy, said officials yesterday shuttered the villagers’ unlicensed sand-dredging businesses.

“We have confiscated their machines,” he said. “We asked them to fix the road.”

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