Transport Minister Sun Chanthol has ordered a company to remove six consultants overseeing work on a road over failure to ensure the quality of the project.
On Wednesday, Mr Chanthol and ministry officials took a cycling tour of the project to inspect the quality of repairs being done at the nearly $26-million project along National Road 7 in Tboung Khmum province.
According to the ministry’s website, they discovered several flaws in the repair works.
Speaking to reporters after the inspections, Mr Chanthol said he was disappointed to discover that part of the road that had already been repaired had become damaged again.
The damaged part had recently been upgraded to an asphalt-concrete road.
Mr Chanthol said the fresh damage was due to technical issues, including the improper mixing of the asphalt and concrete.
He warned that action will be taken against road construction firms that do a shoddy job and they risk being blacklisted by the ministry.
“I want all construction firms, monitoring companies and our officials to strictly keep tabs on the construction process to ensure that the roads are of high quality,” Mr Chantol said. “I do not want them to come back and repair the road again within a short time.”
“The ministry will take action and seek support from our aid donors to ban any road construction companies from road project tenders,” he added.
Mr Chanthol also cautioned ministry officials to take firm action against any wrongdoing by construction companies.
“Do not be scared of them. We have the right to stop the construction if we suspect any irregularities. Stop the work first and let them resume after the problem is solved,” he said.
National Road 7 covers more than 460km from Kampong Cham province, through Tboung Khmum province, to the Cambodian-Laos border in Stung Treng province.
More than 275 km of the road is being renovated under a $69.82 million project financed by the World Bank and the Chinese government.
Kong Ratanak, acting director of the Road Safety Institute, yesterday lauded Mr Chanthol’s move but noted that damage occurring on recently constructed roads is very common and the ministry should have taken serious actions a long time ago.
“I hope the ministry will conduct regular checks across the country,” he said. “Ministry officials should receive more training about the technique of road constructions so that they can monitor projects right from the start.”
Mr Ratanak noted that the ministry should establish an independent working group tasked with monitoring road construction firms to ensure road quality and prevent traffic accidents.