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Minister calls on construction companies to verify their work

Chhut Bunthoeun / Khmer Times Share:
Chea Sophara, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. KT/Siv Channa

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction has called on all trade professionals that work in the construction sector to have their design and construction work verified.

Minister Chea Sophara was speaking yesterday during the awareness session on construction law to all professionals in the sector. The event gathered construction companies, architects and people from related fields at Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh.

“Taking this opportunity, I would like to call on those qualification companies registering at the ministry and specialising in designing and construction work to be issued certificates in their area,” he said, “It is time for the companies to have tasks checked and construction projects certified before these projects are sent to me for approval.”

Sophara also called on all architects and engineers to help make the sector much stronger in terms of quality and building public trust.

As of 2019, there were a total of 1,132 companies with validation in the field of design and construction. These companies have been issued a certificate by the ministry to operate in the Kingdom’s construction sector, according to the ministry’s annual report.

James Hodge, director of real estate consultancy CBRE Cambodia, stated demand for structural surveyors is likely to increase as a greater number of occupiers seek to check the integrity of buildings before a transaction takes place.

“And we may see pressure for adjustments to the law to ensure occupiers are better protected from rogue developers,” he told Khmer Times.

Investors and buyers will no doubt take safety and construction quality into greater consideration as a result of the recent building collapses. “At the top end of the market it is unlikely to have a significant impact, because the construction standards of most high-end buildings meet international standards,” he explained.

However, he said buildings that have undergone adjustments after construction will come under the spotlight to ensure that their structural integrity remains intact. The current construction law is composed of 22 chapters and 111 articles and was promulgated in November last year.

However, such laws normally take about six months to be fully implemented. Early this month, a seven-storey under-construction building collapsed in the city of Kep province, killing 36 people and injuring another 23. This tragedy happened about seven months after a Chinese-owned unlicensed seven-storey building collapsed in Sihanoukville, killing 28 and injuring 26.

With the new law about to be fully implemented, Minister Sophara vowed to not allow such tragedies to happen again. “Construction continues to rise,and we must take serious action to avoid such tragedy because we feel hurt when that happens,” he said.

“In the past, we didn’t have the law, now we have it because we need to work hard against illegal construction,” he emphasised.

The law was designed to ensure, construction quality, security, and safety, will continue to promote the real estate sector in the Kingdom.

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