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Initial talks on a fourth belt road project are underway

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Ministry of Public Work secretary of state Lim Sidenin said the road will cut across four provinces – Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kandal and Prey Veng. Ministry of Public Works

Initial talks on a fourth belt road project are underway

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is discussing the construction of a fourth belt road surrounding Phnom Penh.

According to officials, the new road could stretch 175km and cross four provinces.

Ministry spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Tuesday that the meeting focused on location and connections of the road.

He said a fourth belt road is important for reducing traffic jams and necessary to ease product delivery via various national roads and border checkpoints with Vietnam and Thailand.

“This is just the first meeting. We just want cooperation from relevant units and collect information. We listen to opinions and take requests from sub-national officials regarding impacts and then we discuss with minister Sun Chanthol to decide whether to move forward,” he said

Ministry secretary of state Lim Sidenin said on Monday the ministry worked with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to study the plan since 2018.

This company finished its study this year. This road will have the length of 195km across four provinces – Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kandal and Prey Veng. It will cross three districts of Kampong Speu, one district in Takeo, eight districts in Kandal and two districts in Prey Veng.

Sidenin said he encourages public works departments to propose requests to provincial administrations and study the identified locations.

Kandal provincial public works department director Moeng Youleng, who joined the discussion, said he supports the plan. He said a fourth belt will help tackle traffic and will make the delivery of goods to Vietnam and Thailand faster and safer.

“I think it is very necessary to build this fourth belt road. My team is discussing the work of the ministry,” he said.

Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak said he supports the construction, but urged the ministry to study the long-term effects of the plan.

“The ministry should be open and provide an opportunity for civil society organisations and experts to join these meetings. They can make the plan better. Some organisations have worked directly with the local communities,” he said.

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