The opposition criticized a municipality decision to remove a sewage drainage system installed by the Sam Rainsy Party in Tuol Kok district, saying the city removed the canal for political reasons.
The drainage system, installed on June 15 by the Sam Rainsy Party with more than $2,400 of party funds, aimed to help clean sewage water flowing to the Tuk La’ak II water pump station, said Lun Sieng Ly, the Sam Rainsy Party commune chief.
The city decided over the weekend that the drainage system was not built properly and would cause flooding, one city expert said on Sunday. The city is scheduled to remove and rebuild it on Wednesday, the official said.
“When my party tried to develop something, the CPP invades the project and stops it from being built,” one Sam Rainsy Party official who declined to be identified said on Sunday.
Another party official said the drainage system was not built incorrectly, but rather was torn down because of politics.
Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara said on Sunday that while he is happy to see development in communes, all renovations should be safe and up to city’s standards.
“I welcome residents to build drainage canals, roads and other infrastructure, but it must not contrast with the city’s standards,” Chea Sophara said. He denied that politics influenced the decision to remove the drainage system.
Lun Sieng Ly said the opposition party built the drainage system because sewage from the canal was affecting the health of the Tuk La’ak II residents, causing skin diseases.
Chheang Sovann, 32, a resident of the commune, said on Sunday that before the sewage drainage system was installed, his village would flood with green rubbish and the horrid smell would “poison” his family. But he said the smell remains bad despite the new sewage system. “I want the authorities to finish the drainage installment as soon as possible, because the smell makes me short of breath,” he said.