Officials in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district said yesterday that all transportation of sand across the old and new Preah Monivong bridges has been banned for the duration of the rainy season to protect the road surface and avoid accidents.
According to a City Hall announcement signed by Meanchey district governor Kourch Chamroeun on Aug 6, trucks carrying sand will not be allowed to cross the bridges over the Bassac river, as the vehicles leak sand and water onto the road surface.
The announcement said the ban was a temporary measure in order to prevent the daily transportation of sand from affecting “beauty, environment, public order and security, as well as avoid eventual accidents for travelers and maintain quality of roads” in Meanchey district.
Mr Chamroeun said the measure meant there was “no other way” for trucking companies to transport sand across the Bassac river, adding that customers needing sand during the wet season would have to find sand companies on their side of the river. He added that he did not know how long the ban would stay in place.
Despite the ban, local motorcycle taxi driver Beach Ngoa, 35, who works near the two bridges, said that sand trucks had continued to cross the river on a regular basis.
“I have seen them every day, about 30 to 40 trucks, big and small, that carry sand, are passing over the two bridges,” he said, adding that he had only seen police stopping trucks carrying sand occasionally.
Yesterday afternoon, no police were seen controlling traffic at the two bridges, and during a 15-minute period several large trucks bearing sand crossed the river.
SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said he supported the measure, but added that-—as with many measures taken by City Hall-—effective implementation was absent.
“The decision is good, but the practice is bad. That is why it does not work and the people don’t follow this decision,” he said.