Nearly 200 villagers from three communes in Stung Treng province protested yesterday at Sre Pok bridge to demand that authorities stop dismantling it when the Sesan dam sluice gate closes next month.
Stung Treng provincial authorities said the Lower Sesan ll Hydropower company will close the dam gate from July 15 to August 15 to examine its technical operation, but warned that some villages would be flooded.
On Wednesday, officials came to dismantle the bridge over the Sre Pok river in Sesan district amid fears flooding will damage the bridge when the dam gate is closed.
Villager Ern Thy said: “We have used this old bridge for many years at Sre Pok commune.”
He said villagers feared the authorities would not rebuild the bridge.
Doung Pov, a deputy governor who arrived at the scene of the protest, said: “When the company closes the dam next month, this area will be flooded first.
“The authorities are finding another place for the villagers to cross, don’t worry.”
The bridge was built in 1979. It is 600 metres long and five metres wide.