Removal of Stung Treng Bridge Delayed Again

Authorities have again delayed demolishing a bridge spanning the Srepok River in Stung Treng province after putting plans on hold on Sunday to consult with the Mines and Energy Ministry.

Officials first tried on Wednesday to remove the bridge, which will be flooded when the nearly complete Lower Sesan II hydropower dam opens, but were stopped by 150 protesters, who said it was a crucial link to Stung Treng City.

Sovann Piseth, deputy governor of Sesan district, said on Sunday that he met on Saturday with some of the villagers refusing to relocate before the dam’s testing phase, which is set to begin on July 15.

Their homes sit on land that authorities say will flood when testing begins. “We told them that the provincial authorities would start to remove the bridge” on Sunday, Mr. Piseth said.

Provincial government spokesman Men Kong said authorities decided to halt it again to wait for input from the Mines and Energy Ministry. “We have not yet received specific information from the national level,” he said.

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