Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Impasse in Tbong Khmum over who starts building first

Impasse in Tbong Khmum over who starts building first

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tbong Khmum Provincial Hall. Hin Pisei

Impasse in Tbong Khmum over who starts building first

A classic chicken or egg situation is developing in Tbong Khmum province where plans to build a model city in the middle of a teak forest have stalled.

Land speculators and developers say they are ready to start building, but won’t begin until the government gets cracking on basic infrastructure projects such as roads, power and water supplies.

The government, however, is looking to the private sector to start first – and wants developers themselves to lead-manage the infrastructure.

Veng Sikour, a developer with a 20-hectare project on plan, said it was important for the government to make the first move.

“The project can’t move forward as the people have not moved into this area since they are waiting for infrastructure development by the authorities,” he said.

“The important thing now is that the government should make the first move, because if the situation remains like this, people will not move into the new city. A private company wouldn’t dare to make the first move and throw in a big investment as they are afraid of failing.”

Tbong Khmum has been planned as a so-called role-model city for Cambodia, with a master plan drawn up by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

It is planned in a spot intersecting Ponhea Kraek district, Dambae district and Suong district in Tbong Khmum province.

The blueprint sees detailed urban zoning, with certain areas designated for commercial, residential or administrative purposes. It will also boast proper water and sewage systems.

Oknha Cheng Kheng, CEO of Huttons CPL said that Tbong Khmum had great potential as the master plan was well thought out to ensure sustainable development.

“I think the city will eventually flourish and will prove a role model for Cambodia as the infrastructure is well organised,” he said.

Cheng said the number of land transactions showed there was interest, but investors and developers were still unsure how and when the infrastructure master plan would be implemented.

“The provincial authorities should take control to manage and organise precise infrastructure development including roads and sewage to avoid uncertainty,” he said.

The Ly Hour Group has plans to build a market and a residential project in the city, but also has those on hold.

“I already have a site for this development project but the kick-off depends on the market,” said CEO Oknha Ly Hour.

Dr Beng Hong Socheat Khemro, director-general of the Residential Department of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said the government was encouraging private companies to start.

Tbong Khmum Governor Ly Leng declined to comment on the impasse.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the