Prime Minister Hun Sen has allocated $100 million from national reserve funds to repair 22 stretches of roads, ring roads and construct new roads in Preah Sihanouk province.
The allocation was approved during a Council of Ministers meeting on August 30.
The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said hundreds of millions of dollars more were needed for the province’s infrastructure development to turn it into a “pearl city” and top tourist attraction.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol told reporters on Thursday that besides roads, sewage systems in the city also needed to be restored to avert severe flooding.
He said the government would seek hundreds of millions of dollars in grants from China to meet the demand.
“Samdech Hun Sen has provided $100 million from reserve funds to restore 22 stretches of roads and ring roads in Sihanoukville that have sustained damages.
“The roads are in poor conditions due to daily transportation of [heavy] construction materials to serve rapid infrastructure development purposes in the province. It is inevitable.
“Besides that, we will also request hundreds of millions of dollars in grants from the Chinese government to build wastewater filtration systems to release rainwater and restore the sewage system. Otherwise, Sihanoukville will face more severe flooding,” he said.
Last month, floods caused by heavy rains inundated the coastal town, damaging roads and led to the death of two construction workers and their Chinese foreman. The three died when a fence surrounding a construction site collapsed due to strong currents caused by the floods.
Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The development plans for Sihanoukville was further discussed during an inter-ministerial meeting presided over by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth on Wednesday.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Environment Say Sam Al, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol, and Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun.
The ministers discussed ways to create effective mechanisms for road repairs and constructions as well as an efficient drainage system to release floodwaters in the province.
Reached for comment on Sunday, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said he did not have details as to when the work would start.
Provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun told The Post on Sunday that restoration and construction works would begin after the rainy season ends. “When the rains stop, [the project will start],” he said.
Sok Sokhom, the director of the NGO Cambodian National Research Organisation (CNRO), said almost all roads in Sihanoukville have sustained damage caused by heavy vehicles and natural disasters.
“I hope the [$100 million] budget will be used to build and restore the roads, which are of poor and unacceptable quality,” he said.