Official Discovers ‘How Poor the Roads Are’

Funcinpec parliamentarian Keo Remy didn’t really understand how bad Cambodia’s roads are until he recently drove a total of 24 hours across eight provinces.

“I almost lost consciousness. I was being shaken dangerously and constantly,” he said outside the National Assembly earlier this week.

Keo Remy called on top officials to drive to Siem Reap. “Don’t just take the flight, or you won’t know how poor the roads are,” he said. “Seeing is believing.”

The lawmaker drove along National Route 6 from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap town, encountering an especially bumpy section in Stong district, Kompong Thom province.

Coming back to Phnom Penh on National Route 5, Keo Remy said the worst section was in Mongkol Borei district, Banteay Meanchey province. He compared the road there to a crater left by a B-52 bomb. “Two pickups could fit in such a big, deep hole,” he said.

Keo Remy called upon the government to better heed the distribution of money called for by the legislature in the 2002 budget it is working to draft.

In 2000, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport had some of its biggest projects stalled because it never received the money allocated to it. As a result, according to government figures, the ministry used just 43 percent of its budget in 2000.

Keo Remy also suggested money be budgeted to the Min­istry of Water Resources and Meteo­rology to pump mud out of the Tonle Sap lake to control flooding and preserve the environment. The lake has become shallower in recent years as a result of erosion due to logging in upland areas.

“If these areas can be developed, our people will have more access to trade and the transport of goods,” he said. “Then the economy will improve.”


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