Locals warned to keep livestock off capital-S’ville expressway

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The expressway is constructed by Phnom Penh-based Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd – a subsidiary of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – with supervision by Malaysian firm Minconsult Sdn Bhd, at a cost of just over $2 billion.

Officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and representatives of the company building the Phnom Penh-Preah Sihanouk Expressway on September 28 inspected the safety fences along the road, noting that some of the fences had been cut to allow livestock to cross the road.

They warned that this could be dangerous for motorists, with the expressway scheduled to be opened for free to the public for the month of October.

Ministry undersecretary of state Soeung Sokong warned residents that cutting holes in the barbed wire fence is illegal and may have serious consequences.

He said the leadership of the ministry had taken the issues raised by some members of the public into consideration and discussed ways to find suitable solutions with the construction company.

“In the spirit of solving issues for the people, the ministry and the road’s owners have agreed to facilitate the clearing of existing roads for them. They have also educated them about the risks that their actions could have on the lives of the drivers and passengers using the expressway,” he said.

Heang Sotheayut, director of the ministry’s information department, told The Post that the inspection had revealed that people from other areas had come to cut the grass that was grown for the road’s aesthetics and that local residents had cut barbed wire fences, to allow their cattle to graze and to provide entrances to their homes.

He said some people who were raising cows had cut the fences so their cows could be fattened more quickly on the new grass of the expressway’s border. While this would lead to small profits for livestock owners, it would detract from the public benefits that the road was designed to provide. If the fence was cut, the cows were able to get onto the road, which could be very dangerous.

However, he said that no immediate prosecutions would be undertaken, as the authorities wanted to educate the local people, some of who had limited knowledge of how the expressway would be used.

“The fact that they do not understand is not their fault. If we educate them and they still do not follow our instructions, we will consider this serious offending because their actions have the potential to cause serious accidents. We also instructed the provincial authorities to warn people in the villages and communes along the expressway not to use the road illegally. If they want to travel on the road, they must use the correct entrances and exits,” he added.

Sotheayut explained that the expressway has 201 underground tunnels and 20 flyovers which could be used by the local population.

The expressway is constructed by Phnom Penh-based Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd – a subsidiary of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – with supervision by Malaysian firm Minconsult Sdn Bhd, at a cost of just over $2 billion. It stretches over 187km and runs through Kandal, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provinces.