Tourism Ministry Gets Land for New Building

Amid a flurry of government construction in Phnom Penh’s Tonle Bassac commune, the Min­istry of Tourism has been granted land for a new building in the area, while two other large ministries have put in requests for new headquarters, officials said Tuesday.

Tourism Minister Lay Prohas said that after his ministry had outgrown its old headquarters, Prime Minister Hun Sen granted him permission to erect the new building on vacant land opposite the newly-constructed Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

But he added that he has not been informed when construction will begin or how much it will cost.

Hun Sen said in November that he would like to see an expanse of vacant land in Chamkar Mon district’s Tonle Bassac commune built up with government agencies. The property lies to the south of the Naga Casino.

The new National Assembly, Foreign Affairs Ministry and the planned headquarters for the Min­istry of Tourism are all on the site, while a building for the Min­istry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspec­tion is to be built nearby.

The Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training also said they were in need of new buildings.

“The ministry’s staff have scattered everywhere,” said Labor Min­ister Nhep Bunchin. “I want them to work in the same place, so it is easy. Right now, if I want to meet someone I have to sit and wait for two hours.”

Nhep Bunchin said that his ministry was currently occupying an Education Ministry building but that he had his eye on a Rus­sian Boulevard lot.

Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, had his own complaints. “The [Information] Minis­try’s building is broken, we can not stay there anymore,” he said.

The Ministry of Information is housed in an old wooden building on Monivong Boulevard, one wing of which has collapsed.

Khieu Kanharith said he was conducting a study to evaluate the cost of a new building in the same location.

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