Transport minister defends self-granted bonuses

July 10th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on Wednesday posted to its website a four-page document giving Public Works and Transport Minister Tram Iv Tek’s response to complaints of corruption within his ministry, including that the minister had awarded himself exorbitant bonuses.

The ACU said in the document that it had received a number of complaints from within the ministry that high-ranking officials, including Mr. Iv Tek, had abused a performance-based bonus system to award themselves large sums of money while disregarding other staff. …

Hul Reaksmey and Alex Willemyns
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/transport-minister-defends-self-granted-bonuses-63726/

Vendors with a licence to forge

June 27th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

On the side of a well-trafficked street in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district, a man with a razor blade bends over a small rectangle of sheet metal overlaid with a vinyl stencil.

As letters and numbers are lifted away, the plate begins to take on a familiar appearance – a line of Khmer script at the top, followed by a five-digit numeric sequence below and “RCAF” at the bottom, in a plain, bold font.

After a strafing of white spray paint and a few minutes in the sun, the vinyl is peeled away revealing a standard Royal Cambodian Armed Forces licence plate on the military’s distinctive blue-over-red background. The cost, for any paying customer with an interest in buying it, is $6.25. …

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/vendors-licence-forge

Road fatalities in Cambodia rise to 1,170 in six months

June 25th, 2014 , Global Post

The number of road fatalities in Cambodia has risen to 1,170 so far this year, up 11 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a latest report by the Interior Ministry’s Public Order Department on Wednesday.

Some 2,600 cases of road accidents have been reported since the start of the year, up 15 percent from the same period last year, the report said. …

Global Post News Staff
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140625/road-fatalities-cambodia-rise-1170-six-months

By 2020, $9 billion needed for road funding: report

May 28th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia needs $9 billion to be invested into 850 kilometres of roadways by 2020, according to a study by Henan Provincial Communications Planning Survey and Design Institute.

From the Chinese province of Henan, officials from the state-owned engineering institute went to great lengths yesterday to explain that scientific analysis was behind their Cambodia Expressway Development Master Plan, a report delivered to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Phnom Penh.

“To build and improve a modern transport network, covering the whole nation, connecting every province and city, SEZs, resource-exploitation areas, tourist regions, essential ports, docks, airports and other areas, at first there shall be a scientific development and a reasonable plan,” said Li Qiang, chief engineer at the Henan Provincial Communications Planning Survey and Design Institute. …

Hor Kimsay
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/2020-9-billion-needed-road-funding-report

Cambodia mulls expressway development from capital to seaport, Vietnam

May 27th, 2014 , Global Post

Cambodia is considering to develop two expressways in order to serve the growing extents of economy and trade, Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Public Works and Transport, said Tuesday.

The first line will be from capital Phnom Penh to coastal Preah Sihanouk province in length of 230 km under the investment of a Chinese company and the second one from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam in the distance of 213 km under the cooperation with Japan. …

Global Post News Staff
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140527/cambodia-mulls-expressway-development-capital-seaport-vietna

Veng Sreng Street Upgrade behind schedule

May 16th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The head of a construction company working to upgrade Phnom Penh’s dusty, potholed Veng Sreng Street said Thursday that the project would take twice as long to complete as expected.

In November, Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong announced that a 6.5 km strip of the road—which is home to a large concentration of the country’s garment factories—would be sealed and paved by the end of 2014.

But Thursday, the chief of TCM Construction said that due to businesses and dwellings encroaching on the fringes of the road, it would not be complete before the end of 2015. …

Sek Odom
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/veng-sreng-street-upgrade-behind-schedule-58872/

After strong start, city bus’ future unclear

May 14th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

After a monthlong test run saw 10 buses often filled with passengers, a Chinese-owned company promised in early March to inject millions into the project and add hundreds of new buses.

But Global Trade Development left the project last month after the municipality refused to grant tax breaks for the company’s metered taxi business, officials said. And now City Hall is shouldering the responsibility for running the fledgling bus service as it looks for a suitable company to take it over.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said Tuesday that the municipal department of public works and transport has assumed control of the city’s buses and vowed there will be no interruption to the 36-stop service along Monivong Boulevard as it searches for prospective companies. …

But the fanfare that greeted the arrival of the bus was dampened soon after JICA handed the bus project over to Global Trade, which controversially secured the deal without bidding and on the basis of a verbal agreement.

It had promised to spend $12 million to add more than 300 new buses to a total of 10 citywide routes, but quickly pulled out because of what company CEO Lim Andre described as “technical problems.” …

Mr. Dimanche said City Hall stopped working with Global Trade after it became clear that the company was seeking a tax exemption that would allow it to import not just buses, but also duty-free cars for its metered taxi company. …

Ou Kimsan, deputy chief of the transport office at the municipal department of public works and transport, which currently runs the bus service, said that it also became clear that Global Trade would not live up to its commitments. …

Mr. Kimsan said that several companies have expressed interest in the bus service, but he would only confirm that South Korean company City Trans Cambodia had resubmitted its interest after having its initial bid of $5 million rejected by City Hall in favor of Global Trade. …

Hul Reaksmey and Simon Henderson
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/after-strong-start-city-bus-future-unclear-58640/

Developers see near completion of cable-stayed bridge as positive for trade and property prices

May 8th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Set to open next year, Cambodia’s first cable-stayed bridge is now more than 70 per cent complete, according the government.

Chhim Phalla, director of the Ministry of Public Work’s Department of International Cooperation, which is overseeing the Neak Loeung Bridge and improvements to National Road 1, says that 76.3 per cent of the work on the Neak Loeung Bridge had been completed at the end of March. He adds that the only work remaining was the core centre of the bridge, with 300 metres remaining to connect the two sides.

The bridge is 2,220 metres long, 13 metres wide and 37.5 metres above the water level during the rainy season, and it will have two wide lanes for traffic. …

Siv Meng and Sum Manet
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/real-estate/developers-see-near-completion-cable-stayed-bridge-positive-trade-and-property-prices

4th Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge almost completed

April 3rd, 2014 , ECNS

The work of fourth Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge has almost been completed after a 16-month construction, a contractor said Thursday.

He Luesa, head of Shanghai Construction (Group) General Company’ s construction team, said the construction of a 855 meters by 13.5 meters Takhmao Bridge across Tonle Bassac River will be completed in late July this year. …

ECNS News Staff
http://www.ecns.cn/2014/04-03/108053.shtml

At-large official given four years in prison

February 26th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted and sentenced in absentia a senior official at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for directing money from employees’ salaries to his own pocket.

Seng Setha, 52, general director of the ministry’s administration and human resources department, was sentenced to four years’ prison and fined $1,250, Judge Sem Sakola said. …

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/large-official-given-four-years-prison

Life as Living Nightmare Along National Route 6a

January 31st, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Two years after Prime Minister Hun Sen broke ground on a Chinese-funded project to widen National Road 6a in order to expand its capacity as a major trade and tourism thoroughfare, life for the tens of thousands of families living along the 50-km stretch of road has become a living nightmare.

Heavy trucks carrying earth and machinery have cut up the sandy red dirt into a billowing fog that reduces visibility on the road to a few meters, nearly obscuring the houses and storefronts along the roadside.

The cloud of blinding, choking dust hangs with few reprieves over the entire journey from Phnom Penh through Kandal to Kompong Cham province.

The project to expand National Road 6a from a 7-meter-wide road to a 26-meter-wide highway began in early 2012, with Chinese company Shanghai Construction Group contracted on the back of $70.25 million in loans from China. …

In her small shop set back on the edge of the road’s new margin in Mok Kampoul district’s Russei Chroy commune in Kandal province, 48-year-old Ty Srey, a mother of five, said the only thing she knows about the project is the effect it is having on the community. …

“Nobody has come to tell us when the construction will end, not the government and not the company,” she said, referring to one of the numerous companies subcontracted by Shanghai Construction to carry out the project.

“But our children are all ill because of lung problems and skin diseases. It is difficult to breathe and makes them tired, and these symptoms only occurred after the road construction began,” she said, adding that she visits the health center several times per month and spends between 50,000 and 70,000 riel each time (about $12.50 and $17.50). …

Workers at the few points along National Road 6a where construction was taking place on Tuesday, said that obstacles had slowed down their work.

“There are a lot of problems,” said one construction worker with Ly Chhuong Construction Company, which is in charge of building 18 km of the new road in Russei Keo district. …

Hul Reaksmey and Simon Henderson
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/life-as-living-nightmare-along-national-route-6a-51156/

Cambodia has 2.36 million registered automobiles, motorcycles

December 2nd, 2013 , Global Times

Cambodia has currently had 2.36 million registered automobiles and motorcycles, according to the figures of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport on Friday.

The country has 377,660 cars, buses, and trucks, and 1.98 million motorcycles, said the figures.

Vehicles are mostly purchased from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, South Korea, the United States, and Britain. Japan-branded vehicles are the most popular ones here. …

Global Times News Staff
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/828641.shtml#.UpwIytKBlmM

Project to fix capital’s drains kicks into gear

September 3rd, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

The third phase of a project designed to revamp Phnom Penh’s drainage system, currently inundated by seasonal rains, began yesterday.

Four areas of the city spanning a total of 369,445 metres will be witness to the next stage of the project’s implementation, part of an ongoing $350 million drainage system project spearheaded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). …

Sen David
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/project-fix-capital%E2%80%99s-drains-kicks-gear

Cambodian Parliament Ratifies ASEAN-China Maritime Transport Agreement

May 10th, 2013 , Xinhuanet News

The National Assembly of Cambodia on Friday ratified the agreement on maritime transport between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, saying the agreement is essential to develop trade and economic ties between ASEAN and China. …

“The agreement aims to facilitate and foster cooperation in passenger and cargo transport by sea among the signatories,” Nin Saphon, Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Commission on Public Work, Industry, Mines, Energy, Commerce, and Land Management, said during the session. …

Xinhua News Staff
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-05/10/c_132372924.htm

Slight rise in truck numbers

March 25th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

The total number of new trucks registered last year increased slightly, but industry insiders said that even though more trucks are needed to boost the Kingdom’s trading volume, the country’s export capacity is relatively unaffected because of trucks bought in previous years.

The number of big trucks registered reached 12,715 units last year, compared with 12,156 units in 2011, while the number of small trucks registered declined to 6,921 units from 7,314 in 2011, according to figures from the transportation department under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. …

Sarah Thust and Hor Kimsay
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/2013032564655/Business/slight-rise-in-truck-numbers.html

Vehicle registration grows despite flaws in the system

March 12th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

An absence of public transport, improved roads and the economic development of Cambodia’s rural areas was reflected in an increase in vehicle registrations by 7.7 per cent from 2011 to 2012, official data shows. However, as an insider said yesterday, many cars and motorcycles will not be registered because administrative infrastructure is missing.

Data from the Department of Transport (DOT) at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport shows a increase in registration numbers last year compared to 2011, with 271,155 entries. …

Sarah Thust
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/2013031261874/Business/vehicle-registration-grows-despite-flaws-in-the-system.html

Insight: Cambodia’s $11 billion mystery

February 14th, 2013 , Reuters

The remote district of Rovieng was once a battleground between Cambodian government troops and Pol Pot’s genocidal Khmer Rouge. Unexploded bombs still lurk in its fields and forests.

So does something more desirable – iron ore – and supposedly in such huge quantities two Chinese companies have an $11-billion plan to extract it.

Their proposal – a steel plant and seaport linked by a 404-km (251-mile) railroad – has alarmed environmentalists, mystified mining and transport experts, and bolstered Cambodia’s reputation as an agent for Chinese expansionism in a region where the United States is increasingly competing for influence. …

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Cambodia Iron and Steel general manager Zhang Chuan You said work would begin in July and be finished within four years. But Cambodia’s transport minister Tram Iv Tek, who also attended the ceremony, professed to know almost nothing about it. The conspicuous absence of authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen also left many wondering whether China’s mystery train was going anywhere. …

Andrew R.C. Marshall and Prak Chan Thul
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/13/us-cambodia-china-idUSBRE91C1N320130213

Government Asks for Asian Development Bank’s Help on Railway

January 29th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

The government yesterday asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue to help Cambodia’s troubled railway rehabilitation project, which is in desperate need of more funding in order to complete the network’s northern line.

Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong met with the ADB’s recently appointed country director, Eric Sidgwick, in Phnom Penh. Following the meeting, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong told reporters that Mr. Namhong had brought up the rail project, to which the ADB has already contributed $84 million, making it the project’s largest financer. …

Eang Mengleng and Simon Lewis, P.17
http://www.cambodiadaily.com