Railroad Repair Proceeds Slowly – Friday, 5.12.2008

Posted on 6 December 2008. Filed under: Week 589 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 589

“Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said that so far, the restoration and repair of the two railroad lines from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and from Phnom Penh to the Poipet border crossing with Thailand, based on a loan from the Asian Development Bank – ADB – and from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, ‘has not achieved any noticeable results, and the action is very slow.’

“These two railroad line repair tasks were acquired by a French company, TSO-AS, and by a Thai company, Nawarath Joint Venture; the work was begun early in 2008. An official of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, who asked not to be named, said, ‘275 days passed and some part of the budget was already spent, but the action is very slow.’

“The new connection with 48 km of rails, with rail iron assisted by Malaysia, is just to fix the body of the rail track, but no gravel has been put so that rail iron could be laid. “Previously, there were only studies… and the arrangements to solve the problems of he people in some affected houses in Poipet are not solved yet.’

“Despite the disclosure about this slowness, no reasons where given which are important obstacles.

“Mr. Ouk Nida, an official of ADB, told Rasmei Kampuchea that it is true that there are some delays. But ADB is just the provider of finance; it is not deeply involved in the affairs of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. At present, we start to study a master plan on some sections of the railroad in detail, where mines and unexploded ordnance are a problem.

“Another officials of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport said that so far, 100,000 concrete support blocks are in Thailand. The concrete support blocks are very important to improve the railroad. Approximately US$52 million of the loan from ADB is used to repair old bridges and culverts, to change new supports, and to add more gravel. As for old rail iron, it is not replaced, it can be straightened out, and then it becomes usable again. As for the bed of the railroad, it will not be repaired much, because the railroad bed does not need to be as high as national roads which are covered with tar.

“This official added that the maintenance of both railroad lines aims to facilitate that trains can run at 50 km/h and can load between 15 to 20 tonnes per axis.

“Trains are in very bad condition at present. Frequently, trains derail because both railroad lines are too old.

“According to the plan, the companies have to construct 264 km of railroad from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville within 23 months, and the other line from Phnom Penh to Poipet, with a length of 338 km, within 22 months.

“An official of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport said that the reform of the railroad system is not just to improve and repair the rail tracks to be better, but it is a move, step by step, towards the better use of this sector of transportation, as well as to connect rail transportation systems with neighboring countries.

“An Australian company is intending to use train locations as transportation hubs, while these two railroad lines are being repaired. However, detailed information about this case cannot yet be explained, because the director of Royal Cambodian Railways, Sokhom Pheakavanmony, could not be reached for a comment in the evening of 3 December 2008.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4760, 5.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 5 December 2008

Chakraval, Vol.16, #2831, 5.12.2008

  • Siamese [Thai pro-government] Demonstrators Announced to Rest Three Days to Celebrate the King’s Birthday [which is celebrated on 5 December 2008]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1812, 5.12.2008

  • Cambodia No Longer Sees the Light in Negotiations with Siam [because the Thai supreme court decided to resolve responsibilities within the government structure first; Mr. Var Kimhong, the chairperson of the Cambodia Border Committee, said that Cambodia is waiting for information from Thailand]
  • Cambodia Vows to Use Cooperating Resources [provided by partners] Effectively [said Prime Minister Hun Sen]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #151, 5.12.2008

  • The Fourteenth ASEAN Summit Meeting in Thailand Is Postponed because of the Political Crisis
  • Ms. Rice, the US Secretary of State, Puts Pressure on Pakistan over the Mumbai Problem [to make strong efforts to bring the groups that attacked Mumbai to be prosecuted]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6517, 5.12.2008

  • Pumping of Underground Water in Siem Reap, the Angkor City, Motivated Experts to Warn about the Effects on Buildings and Temples [according to Japanese experts, only 8,000 cubic meter of water should be pumped from the ground per day, otherwise the temples will be affected – but at present, more than 1,000,000 are pumped per day]
  • Korean Real Estate Investors Identified Five Factors Relating to Stability [of the real estate market] and Asked the Government to Take Action [1. Local and foreign investors observing the change of the situation since the fourth term elections, when buying of real estate declines, 2. The National Bank policy restricts lending, and all local private banks reduced loans to investors and increased the interest rates, especially for real estate investors, 3. The border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand which led to a bloody clash, 4. the two biggest real estate mortgage companies of the United States – Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae – have serious financial problems, and 5. The global financial crisis]
  • The Minister of Tourism Held a Meeting to Protect Tourism [from the global financial crisis]
  • A German Man Died after Falling from a Veranda by the Riverside [Kratie]
  • Air Traffic Resumed in Bangkok; Thai Airways Has a Loss of US$560 Million
  • Australia Supports Strategies [of the Royal Government of Cambodia] for Law and Judicial Reforms in Cambodia

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3631, 5.12.2008

  • European Union Donors Encourages Head of the Cambodian Government to Keep the Promise to Fight Corruption and to Reform the Administration

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4760, 5.12.2008

  • Railroad Repair Proceeds Slowly
  • A Court Said that the Detention of [two] Community Representatives of Ethnic Minority Tribespeople over a Land Dispute with the DM Group Is Correct [because the two men used violence – Ba Tang commune, Lumphat district, Ratanakiri]
  • First Tar Factory [for road surfacing] Is Opened by a Khmer Woman [Kandal]
  • Civil Society: Mineral Resources Are Explored in 16 Provinces in Cambodia [in Battambang, Kompong Chhnang, Kampot, Koh Kong, Kompong Speu, Kompong Thom, Kratie, Mondolkiri, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Preah Vihear, Pursat, Ratanakiri, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, and Stung Treng]
  • A Military Officer Was Detained for Attempt of Murder by Using a Weapon Illegally and for Drug Dealing [he shot at the police during their ant-drug action in Phnom Penh]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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