Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post that the provincial administration – in collaboration with local authorities – are going to crack down on vendors selling wares out on the streets, sidewalks and roadsides in urban areas.
Phea said the problem was particularly bad along National Roads 2 and 3 because many people were using the side streets to do business and sell goods.
Phea said that people who are selling goods in the street or who illegally construct stalls on the sidewalks were affecting public order and contributing to traffic accidents.
In the past, authorities had merely stopped offenders and educated them about their behaviour but then they would just return to business as usual once the officials had left.
Phea, however, confirmed that on behalf of the provincial administration, he would first try to resolve this issue by trying to educate people to cooperate with the authorities and voluntarily stop selling goods on the sidewalks or constructing stalls on the roadsides along the national roads.
“We are dealing with this issue heavily in the urban areas, especially along busy streets, which is a concern. We know that our people like to use the sidewalks to sell their wares so that is why we’re having the authorities look into the matter first,” he said.
Oum Ouk, a member of Takeo Provincial Council, said that people living along National Roads 2 and 3 had taken over the sidewalks to use for selling goods like ice containers or for sugar cane juice stalls.
He claimed this could affect public order and it would cause accidents eventually. Takeo province manages 30km of National Road 3.
He further stated that National Road 3 is scheduled to be finished in September and that it is a high-speed road requiring [more] order [near it] to ensure the safety of people travelling on it and passing through.
“It’s an issue that requires the provincial councils and districts along the national roads to consider [the maintenance] of public order and therefore ban them from selling goods there. It could be a big issue in the future if people are invading the road’s sidewalk,” he said.
Additionally, National Road 2 is scheduled to be completed in April of 2022, he noted, saying that the road doesn’t have proper construction signs and that the construction company hadn’t maintained the road properly, which was a problem that would need to be solved soon.
Khorn Sokha, a motorist on National Road 3 said that he’s pretty sure that people selling things on the sidewalks or roadsides was a national phenomenon and not restricted to Takeo province in the least, though the authorities seldom paid much attention to it.
However, Sokha welcomed the provincial authority’s pledges to deal with the problem. He urged other provinces to take action as well, because, he said, if people are not guided or educated to no longer sell goods on the sidewalk then they will continue to do so – and it will cause traffic accidents and disorder on the roads.