P Si­hanouk pro­jects halted

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Kim Sarom

THE Min­istry of Land Man­age­ment, Ur­ban Plan­ning and Con­struc­tion has or­dered the Preah Si­hanouk pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties to halt con­struc­tion in the prov­ince with­out its au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

On Wed­nes­day, min­istry sec­re­tary of state Ch­han Saphan wrote to Preah Si­hanouk gover­nor Yun Min, in­struct­ing him to stop is­su­ing pro­vin­cial per­mits for con­struc­tion with­out the min­istry’s prior ap­proval or first ask­ing ap­pli­cants to fol­low le­gal pro­ce­dures and other tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments.

Saphan said: “There are a num­ber of on­go­ing con­struc­tions in Preah Si­hanouk prov­ince – some near com­ple­tion – with­out the min­istry’s au­tho­ri­sa­tion. They only have the con­struc­tion per­mit given by the Preah Si­hanouk pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties.

“This op­poses Royal Sub-De­cree 86, Ar­ti­cle 5, Sub­sec­tion 2 which says ‘con­struc­tion per­mits shall be signed by a Chair­man of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of Land Man­age­ment, Ur­ban Plan­ning and Con­struc­tion upon the ap­proval of the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties’.”

In re­sponse, Preah Si­hanouk pro­vin­cial gover­nor Yun Min said he will act ac­cord­ing to se­nior gov­ern­ment di­rec­tives and ask for ad­di­tional sug­ges­tions if nec­es­sary.

Min ad­mit­ted that pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties vis­ited and pre­vented many con­struc­tion pro­jects that did not have proper au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

But he said they had given per­mis­sion for pro­jects as in­vestors want them com­pleted quickly and that ob­tain­ing con­struc­tion per­mits from other min­istries will take longer.

“They ac­cused me of cor­rup­tion be- cause I al­lowed other build­ings to be con­structed with­out proper per­mits. They said what­ever they wanted to say. I can’t stop them, but I am not cor­rupt.

“We want to help in­vestors in our coun­try, so we help them. How­ever, I will fol­low the let­ter from now on,” Yun Min said.

Build­ing and Wood­work­ers Trade Union Fed­er­a­tion of Cam­bo­dia (BWTUC) pres­i­dent Sok Kin said he was not aware of hav­ing con­struc­tion per­mits in Preah Si­hanouk prov­ince or in Ph­nom Penh.

This, he said, is be­cause t he aut hori­ties sel­dom fol­lowed the law as pro­ce­dures to ob­tain con­struc­tion per­mits dif fer by area.

Kin said loose law en­force­ment al­lowed in­vestors to do as they wished, caus­ing a lot of trou­ble for con­struc­tion work­ers, the en­vi­ron­ment and peo­ple who live in the area.

“I can­not give more de­tails. In the past, the law was not be­ing fol­lowed strictly. We need to elim­i­nate cor­rup­tion. To make the law effective, we need to avoid cor­rup­tion,” he said.

Af­ter the Min­istry of Land Man­age­ment, Ur­ban Plan­ning, and Con­struc­tion wrote to Preah Si­hanouk au­thor­i­ties on Oc­to­ber 4, the min­istry re­leased an­other state­ment say­ing it will cre­ate six teams to in­spect and mon­i­tor con­struc­tion pro­jects in the prov­ince.

“The teams will be tasked to mon­i­tor and in­spect con­struc­tion pro­jects in Preah Si­hanouk prov­ince and in­struct them to fol­low con­struc­tion laws and other le­gal and tech­ni­cal pro­ce­dures.

“The teams will re­port to the Min­istry of Land Man­age­ment to de­cide,” said the min­istry’s state­ment.

Of late, tourists have crit­i­cised the Preah Si­hanouk pro­vin­cial au­thor­i­ties for an in­crease of Chi­nese na­tion­als and con­struc­tion pro­jects near the beach which are mainly de­vel­oped by them.

HENG CHIVOAN

A con­struc­tion site for a new casino in Preah Si­hanouk prov­ince. The Min­istry of Land Man­age­ment has or­dered the prov­ince’s gover­nor to stop con­struc­tion with­out min­istry’s ap­proval.

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