Phnom Penh City Hall Says Gas Stations Must Move

Citing safety concerns, Phnom Penh authorities have asked two gas stations and other businesses to leave the area near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s new offices, officials said yesterday.

A PTT and a Total filing stations on Russian Federation Boulevard each have been asked to move because they are within 200 meters of the premier’s new Prampi Makara district office building, while businesses near the corner of Streets 109 and 118 have already been shuttered, according to officials.

However, the owner of the PTT filing station, who declined to give her name, said she had not been given a deadline, while Stephane Dion, managing director for Total Cambodge, said the French-owned firm had been approached with a “development plan” that “may imply” moving their gas station.

“Total Cambodge is in [the] process of handling this matter with Cambodian authorities,” Mr Dion said.

Phnom Penh police chief Touch Naruth said City Hall also planned to move other gas stations on busy Phnom Penh streets, including Russian Federation, Norodom and Monivong boulevards, but he declined to provide more details.

He said the PTT and Total gas stations were informed about a month ago that they had to relocate.

“The PTT and Total stations must go,” Mr Naruth said. “The gas stations should not be at prime locations in the capital. We are not worried about terrorist attacks but we are worried about carelessness that could cause a problem.”

The announcement comes after a fire spread in Prampi Makara district when a tanker-truck ignited at a gas station on Sept 21. A record of an Oct 4 City Hall meeting said the gas stations were to be replaced by public gardens.

Prampi Makara governor Som Sovann said entertainment businesses and bus stations at the corner of Streets 109 and 118 were shut down ahead of Tuesday’s inauguration of the premier’s new office.

(Additional reporting by Clancy McGilligan)


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