The government plans to build a new 27km road connecting National Road 4 to the Preah Monivong Bokor National Park in Kampot province.
The construction is to be funded by prominent businessman Sok Kong – the investor of the Thansur Bokor Highland Resort located within the national park. The road will pass through an economic land concession (ELC) used to harvest palm oil belonging to agriculture magnate Mong Reththy.
Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara said he had coordinated with Kong and Reththy, who both hold the royal title of oknha, to build the new road.
“This new road will join National Road 4 at a point 200m after kilometre marker 158 and connects to Bokor Mountain via the palm oil ELC. Kong will cover the costs of the construction while Reththy will clear palm trees to open the path for the road builders,” Sophara said in a Facebook post on January 25.
The minister told The Post on January 26 that the ministry would announce details of the road project in the near future.
Reththy, who co-invests in the road, said he will clear his palm trees to allow access to the road whenever it crosses his plantation.
“Kong needs to build the road, which crosses a large part of my palm oil plantation, so I am clearing part of my land concession to pave the way for construction,” he said.
Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesman Kheang Phearom told The Post briefly on January 26 that the provincial hall had received information about the construction but he provided no further details about it.
He said the provincial administration will work with its Kampot counterpart as the road will travel through both provinces.
“When we have a new road, there is hope, and it will contribute to facilitating the travel of people and tourists. This new road will contribute to economic growth, because tourists will travel more easily to Bokor Mountain,” he said.
Kim Pagna, director of Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, hoped that the construction would be of a high quality to ensure the safety of all road users.
“I have no comment on this particular road, but all new roads should be planned with safety measures in mind. There should be plenty of signage and lanes, so drivers can travel in safety and comfort,” he said.