Clean sweep for city streets

Source: Khmer Times

Eleven key roads will be cleared. KT/Mai Vireak

In a bid to ease traffic congestion, the new Phnom Penh governor on Friday held a meeting with all district governors to select 11 main roads to be freed of vendors and street side parking.

Phnom Penh governor Khoung Sreng identified the 11 roads on his Facebook page following the meeting.

The 11 streets include Norodom Boulevard, Sisowath Continue reading

Airport railway revealed as residents worry

Source: Khmer Times

The government has revealed ambitious plans for a railway to be completed by April 2018 that will carry goods and passengers from the city to Phnom Penh International Airport.

Meanwhile, protesters already being affected by the construction of the railway, which they claim began two months ago in Por Senchey district’s Ka Kab commune, continue to claim they have been left in the dark about the project.

On Friday, Minister of Public Works and Transportation Sun Chanthol revealed the light train plans and the ambitious deadline for its completion.

Mr Chanthol said about 250 metres of the railway – which will be 1.5 kilometres long – is already under construction.

“Once operational, it’ll take 20 minutes to travel from within the city to the airport via the light train,” he said. “It will reduce traffic congestion in the city, particularly for people living around the airport, and tourists can use the service into Phnom Penh from the airport to avoid traffic jams.”

The train will be free of charge during its first month of operation, Mr Chanthol added.

The Royal Group has been tapped for the project and will manage the railway once it’s completed. Currently, the company is procuring four light trains from Mexico, which cost about $2 million each, according Mr Chanthol, who did not reveal the total cost of the project.

“The amount of investment on the light train railway is small because we are building only 1.5 kilometres,” he said.

Residents of Ka Kab commune, where the construction has already begun, said the government is not being forthcoming with worried locals, who fear evictions and ill affects to their heath during construction.

Meng Kruy, a representative of disgruntled residents, said locals want a public forum held about the project, which has already negatively affected their lives.

Last week, he and other locals protested and burned tyres to earn a sit down with local officials, but they want more information from the national level, he said.

“Talking about burning tyres to protest, we have done it many times, but there is still no national authority coming to explain so that the people can understand,” he said. “People want the involved parties to come to solve their problems directly.”

Housing Rights Task Force executive director Sia Phearum said most Ka Kab commune residents support the project, as he does, but officials directly involved in the development should visit locals as soon as possible.

“I think they should go there and disseminate information directly to the people,” he said. “Otherwise, there could be a crisis of protests.”

Bulls prevail despite condo glut

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Condo supply in Phnom Penh is expected to hit 38,920 units by the end of 2019. Heng Chivoan

Despite condo supply in Phnom Penh increasing at a fast rate as projects complete construction, many in the real estate industry are maintaining an upbeat outlook on future market conditions. However experts have cautioned that moving forward, new projects will need to be more prudent and mindful in their plans to build condos, especially when it comes to location. Continue reading

White Building gone in four months

Source: Khmer Times

The end of an era – the White Building from the air. KT/fabien Mouret

The demolition of the White Building will take about four months before the Japanese company starts to develop its new project on the site of the iconic old building. Continue reading

Koh Rong: An island paradise slowly developing

Source: Khmer Times

One of the settlements on Koh Rong, which will soon be one of the country’s major tourist attractions. Supplied

Koh Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia after Koh Kong, with a total land area of approximately 78 square kilometres.

Located in Sangkat Koh Rong of the Mittakpheap district in Sihanoukville province, the island is about 25 kilometres from the mainland.

With four village communities comprising more than 3,000 people, the island is one of the most attractive offshore destinations for both local and international tourists. And this looks set to continue due to the announcement of upcoming mega-tourism projects to be developed on the island by The Royal Group, a major Cambodian consortium.

To boost development on Koh Rong, in 2008 the gove Continue reading

Villagers end bridge protests

Source: Khmer Times

Sre Pok bridge has been partly dismantled amid flooding fears. KT/Mai Vireak

Villagers in Stung Treng’s Sesan district have ended their protest at Sre Pok bridge and will let authorities dismantle the structure to prevent its damage by floods.

Dam Samnage, a representative of Sre Kor commune, said part of the bridge was taken down but part had been retained for pedestrians because there was no flooding yet. Continue reading

Push for an end to sugarcane land row

Source: Khmer Times

Koh Kong provincial authorities have urged 200 families involved in a decade-long land dispute with a sugar cane company to prepare evidence of their claims amid hopes of a final solution from the government.

Koh Kong deputy provincial governor Sun Dara said the dispute between Sre Ambel district residents, Koh Kong Sugar Industry and Koh Kong Plantation began in 2006.

Locals accuse the companies of taking almost 800 hectares of their farmland and are demanding compensation, plus a return of the land. Continue reading