Monday, July 18, 2005

Cambodia unveils Phnom Penh development plan

The Bureau of Urban Affairs of Phnom Penh Municipality has made a plan to expand the city and build major new infrastructures by 2020 to accommodate Phnom Penh's growing economic activities and population, local press reported on Monday.

Chhay Rithisen, chief of the Municipality's Department of Basic Construction and Land Planning, said on Friday that the Phnom Penh area will be broadened north, south, east and west, with Wat Phnom as the central point and city limits forming a radius of 30 km, the Chinese-language newspaper The Commercial News reported.

The area opposite Chaktomukh River will be developed into a ' new' area and some urban zones will become Phnom Penh affiliated towns.

Growing annually by 3.2 percent, the capital's 1.3-million- strong population is expected to reach 2.5 million by 2020.

Necessary infrastructure to be built includes roads, boulevards, canals and a railway system to link the city's growing and dispersed areas, according to The Cambodian Press Review.

High-rise buildings, which are absent from Phnom Penh's skyline, will be built at the entrances of the city and by the river and lake, said The Commercial News. To fund the future boom of the city, the Phnom Penh Municipality will promote investment in the construction of buildings and apartments.

Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema, on a visit to Bangkok last week, has said that the capital has 569 poor communities with 25 percent living on public land, which he said is a problem that needs to be solved, reported khmer newspaper Island of Peace. To reduce the number of poor communities, the city is seeking partners to improve the capital's urbanization.

The Phnom Penh 2020 plan has already been approved by the Ministry of Land Management and now it needs to be ratified by the government.

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