New governor suspends three construction sites

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Newly-appointed Preah Sihanouk provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun visits a construction site in Sihanoukville. Swift News

Newly-appointed Preah Sihanouk provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun on Tuesday suspended the construction of three buildings in Buon commune pending a review of metal support pillars used at the sites.

Mr Chamroeun was appointed governor on June 29 following the resignation of Yun Min, who quit after the collapse of a building under construction which killed 28 people.

After the collapse, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the inspection of all construction sites in Preah Sihanouk.

“Any building that is without permit must be suspended,” Mr Hun Sen said. “Do not allow this case to happen again.”

“We do not need to be [officials] of the state if we do not have the ability to prevent the construction of buildings like this,” he added.

According to a Provincial Hall report issued yesterday, Mr Chamroeun and the officials decided that the metal pillars used at the three sites were in need of review and suspended construction.

Mr Chamroeun yesterday said he could not disclose the status of construction sites under review, noting that experts are still studying multiple sites.

“We are continuing to review construction sites, so we do not yet know which ones are illegal,” he said.

Kheang Phearum, spokesman for the Provincial Hall, yesterday said the experts will determine whether the metal pillars are suitable for construction.

“The sites were suspended pending a review from expert officials,” Mr Phearum said. “If they find that the metal pillars do not meet standards, we will take action.”

Cheng Krong, director of the provincial land management department, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

According to the report, Mr Chamroeun also visited a Japanese family who lost their restaurant in the collapse.

“Mr Chamroeun allowed the Japanese family to construct a temporary wooden building,” the report said, adding that Mr Chamroeun urged provincial officials to speed up the issuance of a construction permit to allow the reconstruction of the Japanese family’s restaurant.

Last week, Arai Tomotaka, owner of the Japanese restaurant, said he was lucky that his family survived the collapse.

Mr Arai said he lost his restaurant and three motorbikes in the collapse.

“In total, I lost $50,000 because of the collapse,” he added. “I will prepare a lawsuit to demand for compensation from the owner of the [collapsed] building and I think he must address this issue.”

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