To reduce traffic jams in Phnom Penh, City Hall plans to repair one road per week until Khmer New Year on April 14, Deputy Governor Mam Bun Neang said on Wednesday.
City Hall’s plan, however, includes the removal of people from certain streets and requires residents to contribute 50 percent of the cost for repairing their roads.
Mam Bun Neang, who is also chairman of the bidding committee on road repair, said that the city plans to repair more than 60 roads, and the bidding process for 34 roads has already been completed. The municipality has spent $750,000 out of $1.25 million allocated for road work.
People living on the roads will need to contribute 50 percent of the cost, with the government paying the remainder. So far residents of 30 road projects have nearly contributed their full share, he said, adding that in two projects, residents paid 100 percent of the costs.
Mam Bun Neang said as soon as money from residents is collected, the road repairs can begin because “the city is ready.”
Some of the projects entail removing light poles to widen roads in order to ease traffic jams. In the case of repairs to Street 244, it entails removing residents like Preap Nga.
Preap Nga, who has lived on Street 244 since 1981 without legal title, was told by the city that it plans to repair her street and ordered her to vacate her home by March 22 .
City Hall promised to give each of the eight families squatting on her road $125, but they are requesting $1,000 or land near Phnom Penh, she said Wednesday.
“If I have no place to live, I will come back after the road is repaired,” Preap Nga said.
Her neighbor, Hun Rorn, 34, said he cannot buy a home with $125.
“We request land not too far from the city because we make our living in the city,” he said.