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S’ville buildings to be levelled

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Fourteen building projects in Preah Sihanouk province have been ordered to be pulled down. Photo supplied

S’ville buildings to be levelled

Fourteen building projects in Preah Sihanouk province were ordered to be demolished after a working group found their construction had failed quality inspections, provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun said.

Another 70 of 500 projects in the province, he said, are under scrutiny after having recently been inspected.

Speaking at a meeting on Monday on the measures facing construction companies that failed to comply with Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction standards, Chamroeun said a ministry working group was carrying out safety inspections to check build quality.

“The working group found 14 construction projects failed quality inspections and has ordered them to be dismantled. Construction projects that fail quality tests carry a high risk of integral failure and cannot be allowed to be built,” Chamroeun said.

The ministry’s working group and provincial authorities held Monday’s meeting for construction companies to have discussions.

Building firms were required to register with the ministry and receive a technical permit. The provincial administration would take action against any construction firm that failed to adhere to the guidance, he said.

“Construction company owners who failed to work with the provincial administration by attending the meeting and fulfilling their obligations will have their sites temporarily suspended,” Chamroeun said.

Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said on Tuesday that the provincial administration had held the meeting the previous day with the construction companies, master builders, concrete firms and those selling building materials, as well as companies working closely with the construction sector in the province, to instruct them to apply for a proper permit before constructing buildings.

“What has been emphasised at the meeting is instructing all companies to ask for a permit recognised by the ministry. Construction companies especially must have licences recognised by the ministry. They have to cooperate with the specialised working group and relevant authorities to avert other possible risks,” he said.

The committee entrusted with inspecting a series of buildings in the province for their construction quality and design was created the day after the June 22 collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville that was under construction. The incident killed 28 people and wounded 26.

The collapse sparked outrage at an apparent lax enforcement of building regulations and standards after it emerged that the owner of the site in question had ignored repeated requests by authorities to halt construction.

The authorities previously told local media that the building was owned by Chinese national Ching Korng, and was being illegally constructed on a 583sqm plot.

The authorities had twice tried to stop the building’s construction, but its owner did not cooperate.

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