Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng yesterday said that reclamation work at the Tonle Bassac River tributary near the Koh Pich Exhibition Centre is to build a water treatment plant and a sidewalk, and also to beautify surroundings.
Mr Sreng refuted claims by some local media that the tributary was being filled for a private sector development project.
Mr Sreng on Tuesday night led officials to inspect the reclamation project site following Facebook posts that accused City Hall of not being aware of work to fill up the tributary for private development.
“I was there at night to check the situation because of constant posts which accuse us of not being aware of what was going on,” he said. “We can confirm that reclamation work in the area is only for our project and there is no work being done to fill up that portion of the river for private development.”
Mr Sreng said that there are a lot of high buildings surrounding the tributary and City Hall has studied ways to make the area more attractive.
“We are building a water treatment plant to ensure that the water in the tributary stays fresh and we are also making sure that the people living nearby live in a clean environment,” he said, adding that work on the sidewalk, stretching up to Kbal Thnal bridge, will start after the treatment plant project is over.
Mr Sreng visited the area two days after Prime Minister Hun Sen’s younger sister Hun Sinath had asked him whether he knew of any illegal land-filling activities in the tributary.
“I have viewed the Tonle Bassac river tributary ever since I was born, so why are they filling it?” Ms Sinath had said. “Is it ok if I ask that the tributary should remain untouched.”
“Please, do not fill it,” she added, noting that the tributary was public property which should be preserved for everyone.