The Phnom Penh municipality last week warned owners of parking lots on the city’s outskirts against taking off-the-book payments to allow into the capital vehicles carrying merchandise or paying passengers.
An August municipal order designed to improve traffic in the capital requires such vehicles to unload at lots several kilometers outside the city center. It angered drivers and passengers, who did not want to make the final leg of their trip by motorcycle.
“The municipality wants to warn owners of parking lots to enforce the municipal order,” Heng Vantha, municipal chief of Cabinet, said Sunday. Companies that do not comply will not be allowed to remain in business, he said.
In a letter issued to lot owners Thursday, the municipality stated there were many irregularities at the parking lots but reaffirmed the directive that provincial commercial vehicles had to park outside the city. The letter was signed by Governor Kep Chuktema.
If vehicles are illegally entering the capital, lot owners should notify authorities to solve the issue, Heng Vantha said, adding that any fees paid to lot owners by drivers should be recorded.
The municipality had announced plans in mid-August to reopen all the peripheral parking lots, but it has been delayed by tensions between lot owners and drivers. Taxi drivers who use National Road 6A had planned earlier this month to demonstrate against Suy Sophan, director of Phan Y Mech Co and the Chroy Changva parking station, for charging off-the-book fees. The municipality denied them a permit to protest. Following the setback, 75 taxi drivers complained about unofficial fees in a letter to the city’s Public Works and Transport Department. In response, the “municipality had to issue a warning letter against the owners of parking lots to stop their irregular acts,” Heng Vantha said.
Soy Sophan could not be reached for comment Sunday but has previously denied ordering her guards to collect illegal fees.
from drivers or condoning violence against them.