Flood-hit locals fight sewage pipe ban

Source: Khmer Times

Local women point out the flooding problems in the area. Supplied

Locals in Battambang’s Andong Chenh village are asking the CNRP chief of O’Char commune to help them get a sewage pipe built after city officials said the construction had to be scrapped due to technical problems.

A group of 45 villagers put their thumbprints on a letter requesting the sewage pipe, which they say will alleviate problems with flooding and build-ups of waste in the area that have been ongoing for more than 20 years. 

However, commune chief Sin Chanpeourozet said she could not comply with the request because the project was banned by city authorities who claimed it breached technical regulations.

Ms Chanpeourozet said: “I have to listen to the Battambang town administration, who issued a letter for me to suspend sewage pipe construction.

“If I allow it to continue, I would be violating the governor’s order. I have already told the people, so I do not know what they will do next.”

The pipe which 45 villagers want. Supplied

Ms Chanpeourozet continued that her decision to construct the sewage pipe for Andong Chenh village was an old project of the previous commune chief, which she carried on because she believed it would help residents.

She added that 80 metres of the 100-metre project was already finished, but the city authorities issued a letter to suspend the construction claiming it flouted technical rules.

Battambang CPP lawmaker Chheang Vun said that proper permission should have been sought for the project before it was carried out.

However, CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the pipe had the potential to bring great benefits to locals affected by floods, even if it wasn’t up to technical standards.

“The Battambang town authorities should allow the O’Char commune chief to continue the construction as a temporary measure to stop floods until the state has the budget to build proper drainage according to proper technical standards,” he said.

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