Parking Lot Owners Receive Warning on Fees Taxis

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.


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