Due to safety concerns, City Hall has announced a ban on the use of fireworks without a permit during the upcoming Chinese New Year next week.
Governor Khuong Sreng said legal action will be taken against those who defy the prohibition from February 4 to 6.
“The administration wants local officials and the general public to know City Hall does not allow the use of fireworks, firecrackers or anything that makes an explosive noise during New Year,” Mr Sreng said. “Do not allow banned games to be played and banned religious and traditional ceremonies to be held.”
He noted all private enterprises, including entertainment venues and markets, must be responsible for the safety and security of their own establishments.
“From now on, all authorities must take strict action against those who permit the unregulated distribution of firecrackers and fireworks in Phnom Penh,” Mr Sreng said. “Those fireworks must be confiscated and must not be available in markets in the capital.”
He said the municipal religion department has decided to invite Chinese and Vietnamese associations to discuss the issue.
“Anyone who violates this guideline or anyone who commits a crime leading to social unrest is going to be punished,” Mr Sreng said.
A grocery vendor in Meanchey district who declined to be named yesterday said she sells firecrackers around this time of year every year, noting that a prohibition was unheard of.
“I hide it from everyone to see, but if someone asks I will sell it to them,” the vendor said. “My customers are mostly children who want to play during the evening of Chinese New Year. I don’t sell big amounts, just several boxes of firecrackers.”
Koh Kong Provincial Hall also issued a ban on unregulated fireworks during the upcoming Chinese and Vietnamese New Year.
Deputy provincial governor Phy Toun Phlamkeyson last week said accidents involving fire happened in previous years during Chinese and Vietnamese New Year celebrations.
“We do not allow the use of firecrackers and all kinds of explosive things,” Mr Toun Phlamkeyson said, noting that those who defy the ban will face the law.
In order to prevent fire accidents during the upcoming celebrations, City Hall has prepared for the deployment of 20 fire engines.
According to a report by the municipal fire department, 90 fires occurred in the capital last year, which left three dead and 12 others injured.