Prey Sar Prison Officials Hope for Electricity

Prey Sar prison officials hoping to have an electrical connection installed at their rural Dangkao district site have asked Electricite du Cambodge to lower the construction and installation bill.

EDC is asking for more than $140,000 to supply the prison with cement poles, wires and service to connect the jail to the electricity grid, prison official Kim Sarin said.

“We are discussing other ways to get an electricity connection for less money in case EDC does not lower its price,” said Kol Sophan, director of the Ministry of Int­erior’s prison department. The government is not able to pay full price, he added.

Prey Sar prison was built in 2000 for the government by the Sokimex Co, in exchange for land near the Phnom Penh riverfront where T3 prison once stood.

Tan Kim Vin, director of EDC, said Thursday that his company does not plan to extend low-cost service to the prison area because “no other people along that road use it.

”We will lose profit if we spend a lot for the connection and no one else pays for it,” he added.

If nothing else can be worked out, continued use of a generator presents a problem, Kim Sarin said, because it is small and only provides enough light for security between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am.

“We are planning to teach prisoners about computers—ma­chine repair, handicrafts and sewing. We want them to change what they did wrong and give them a proper profession,” Kim Sarin said. “But no electricity gets to the prison. It is away from town, so we are using our generator, and it is not enough to support daily use.”

Chan Soveth, an investigator for local human rights group Adhoc, said the prison “only has light for one or two hours a night. There are electricity shortages and no pure water.”

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