Monday, October 10, 2005

Choeung Ek Killing Fields Road To Be Fixed

THE CAMBODIA DAILY

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

By Kuch Naren and Michael Cowden

Phnom Penh municipality has set aside more than $60,000 to renovate a 6,700 meter-long dirt road connecting the city to the Choeung Ek killing fields, officials said Monday.

The work was necessary to improve access to the site for students and tourists, and because $1.5 million in funds from part of an Asian Development Bank loan to build an asphalt road would not be available until the end of 2005, they said.

The funds have been available since Aug 6, 2003, ADB Program Officer Nida Ouk said Monday, but the ADB and the municipality are still working on the required bidding documents for the contract to build the road.

“We will renovate the dirt road with funds from the municipal budget...until we can receive the money from ADB,” said Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema on Monday as construction on the road began.

The $60,000 municipal project aims only to smooth over the dirt road. Kep Chuktema said construction on the asphalt road would likely begin in early 2006.

Heng Nguon, director of the municipality’s bridge and road unit, said repairs on the dirt road would take about a month to complete. He said residents in the area and students at the Institute of Agriculture, which is located along the road to Choeung Ek, are anxious to see work completed.

People living along the road said Monday they welcomed the repair work but feared the unpaved road would soon fall into disrepair because of heavy truck and van traffic.

“The dirt road used to be comfortable until the trucks and vans began transporting so many heavy goods,” said Dangkao district resident Sin Samnang, 56, adding that in the rainy season, the road often becomes flooded and muddy.

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