Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lights, roads, action as ASEAN looms

Lights, roads, action as ASEAN looms

Lights, roads, action as ASEAN looms

Keen-eyed citizens of Phnom Penh will have noticed the municipality's frenetic efforts

to improve the look of the capital. From paving the main streets to erecting traffic

lights that count down the impatient driver's waiting time, you could be forgiven

for thinking this was to wow the imminent influx of the region's leaders for November's

ASEAN summit.

Not so, says Governor Chea Sophara. The beautification exercise - an ongoing mission

of his - has simply coincided with the meeting. But he acknowledges that removing

the potholes from the city's main roads will improve the country's image.

"We wanted smooth city streets as part of the development plan for our city

in 2002," he said. "My plan was not to have these developments to please

ASEAN's leaders - [the meeting] happens to have coincided with our plans."

Nhem Saran, director of the public works department, says the government has given

$12 million to redo 31 major arteries, which should ease congestion.

Twenty-one have been upgraded, with work continuing on the rest. And the Chinese

government has loaned $3 million to install six modern traffic lights, says Saran,

and for the appropriate task of repaving Mao Tse Tung Blvd. That runs past the city's

largest hotel, the Intercontinental, which will be the temporary home of many delegates.

"These traffic lights are not modern for developed countries," he says

of the countdown system, "but they are new for us. If all drivers understand

these lights, that will help reduce traffic jams."

However understanding the lights and obeying them are two different things. Saran

said that when the municipality tested drivers about the new lights, only half understood

what they were about. The rest, he admitted, are still ignoring the fact that a red

light means stop, a state of affairs that will doubtless linger long after the delegates

have gone home.

MOST VIEWED

  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • After three deferrals, Capital Gains Tax to take effect Jan 1, 2024

    The General Department of Taxation (GDT) will implement the Capital Gains Tax starting January 1, 2024 to after being deferred three times as industrial players warn that the implementation might have some negative impact on the property market growth, which is down due to the economic downturn.