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Sub-decree on pavements revised

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Vendors selling on pavements near Beoung Trabek market in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district on June 13. Hong Menea

Sub-decree on pavements revised

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is discussing revisions on the sub-decree regarding the use of pavements along the streets and railways, with particular attention to the control of the former.

The revisions will incorporate the inter-ministerial committees’ input on the matter before the sub-decree is submitted for approval.

In a virtual meeting held on June 11 among relevant officials, the ministry said the revisions will be from the members of the inter-ministerial committee on the management of pavements.

“The sub-decree is aimed at making improvements to the management of the use of pavements along the express ways, national roads, provincial roads, rural roads and railways, focusing on safety and effectiveness in infrastructure construction.

“This is to ensure sustainability and the livelihoods of the people in line with the development and prosperity of Cambodia,” the ministry said.

According to the road traffic law promulgated in 2014, all construction on land preserved for road construction is forbidden except for some necessities like construction for national defence and the security sector and some necessary public services, all of which need approval from the government.

The law permits temporary use of pavements for other purposes which do not affect the facilities they are in front of or obstruct traffic. The actual use of the pavements must be pursuant to a sub-decree.

Public works ministry secretary of state Lim Sidenin, who led the meeting on the revision, told The Post on June 13 that the sub-decree was actually first put into use in 2009, but the ministry was making some revisions to make it widely applicable and to cover all pavement.

“We held the meeting to get input from everyone before we wrap it up for the sub-decree revision. We already have the sub-decree, but we are making some changes to include all pavements in the countryside, which was not well-defined by the existing sub-decree,” he said.

Sidenin urged relevant stakeholders from all provinces to provide input on the revisions to make them comprehensive and enable them to go as quickly as planned.

Kong Sovann, a public health specialist and director of the International Safety Fund Programme, said such a sub-decree was necessary to complement the law in order to make the enforcement effective and transparent.

He urged a wide public awareness campaign before the new sub-decree is enforced – of at least three to six months – in order for the law enforcement authorities and the public to understand its content.

“In real practice, reasonable measures should be applied before penalties or punishment is imposed. What is important is to stand up for the public interest,” Svann said.

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