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Governors ordered to review construction projects for permits

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
Land Management Minister Chea Sophara. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Land Management Ministry yesterday called on all governors across the Kingdom to review ongoing construction projects to ensure companies and building owners have the proper permits.

The call follows last month’s Sihanoukville building collapse that killed 28 people and injured 26 others. Provincial officials said the owner of the building lacked proper permits.

According to a statement yesterday, Land Management Minister Chea Sophara said municipal and provincial governors must take legal action against companies which are constructing buildings without a permit or prior ministry approval.

Mr Sophara said building owners can also face legal action if they do not have prior approval by local authorities.

“The move aims to ensure that buildings are built in line with legal norms and construction standards,” he said. “It is also to guarantee quality and safety.”

“It will also help to ensure sufficiency of the construction and the buildings,” he added.

Ministry spokesman Seng Lot yesterday said the authorities must stop projects lacking permits immediately.

Labourers work on a building under construction in the capital. KT/Siv Channa

“In principle, all construction companies must obtain a permit or a license before they could begin construction,” Mr Lot said. “The owners of the construction site must also receive approval from the authorities, or else they will face legal action.”

He noted that the ministry has disseminated information and educated people about the risks of unauthorised construction.

Kheang Phearum, spokesman for the Provincial Hall, yesterday said authorities in Preah Sihanouk have identified a number of construction firms carrying out projects without a license.

“We have stopped the construction companies and ordered them to apply for licenses,” Mr Phearum said. “Our officials are now conducting regular inspections on construction sites in order to ensure that the construction is not done without permits.”

Last week, Interior Minister Sar Kheng ordered all governors across the Kingdom to educate construction owners to understand and respect laws concerning safety in the construction sector and that work is done in accordance with conditions stipulated in their permits.

Sok Kin, president of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union of Cambodia, yesterday said the government should be applauded for the order.

“It’s good to have firm action against those who violate the law. It is good to ensure safety in construction sites in the Kingdom,” he said. “I hope the authorities will continue to monitor the problem in the future, not just for a short period of time.”

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