Siem Reap, December 28, 2009
Respected Venerable Monks
Excellencies, Lok Chum Teav, Members of the Senate, Members of the Parliament and Members of the Royal Government,
H.E. PUTU KAMAYANA, Country Director, ADB Resident Mission, Cambodia
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, National and International Distinguished Guests
Dear Compatriots, Civil Servants, Teachers and Students!
Today, it is my great pleasure to be here once again to officially inaugurate the National Roads No. 5-6 from Poipet to Siem Reap and Bridges/Drainage Pipes on the National Roads No.56-68 from Sereisophorn through Samrong to Kralagn of Siem Reap province by using the concessional loan from ADB and the 5% of the counterpart budget of the Royal Government of Cambodia without charging the tax on means and materials for the constructions.
Taking this solemn opportunity, I would like H.E PUTU KAMAYANA to convey my deepest thanks, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), one of the leading partners, who has put trust to the Royal Government of Cambodia since the mid of 1990s in providing continuous loans as well as a number of grants for restoring and rebuilding roads, bridges nation wide and other physical infrastructures and human resource development in all circumstances such as today ADB provides loan for the construction of the national roads No. 5-6 and bridges and drainage pipes in the national roads No.56-58 together with the construction of the controlling space for containers of the customs at Bavet border checkpoint, the construction of administrative office and, materials for offices to control the cross border trade in Poipet, the construction of 7 permanent stations for truck weighting along the national road and the installment of the traffic signposts and signals along the main national roads such as AIDS education program and the reform program of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport with the budget of 60 million USD in which OPEC contributed 10 million USD an continually provided additional budget of 16.26 million USD for the restoration of the 29 km of the road No.56. Moreover, many projects that ADB has been ready to provide loans to Cambodia for the renovation and construction of the main national roads, link to the economically potential areas in the northwest part of Cambodia and the maintenance of the roads property. These are the gestures and deep feeling that ADB has contributed to the Royal Government of Cambodia in promoting economic growth and socio-economic development through national and regional integration, aiming to quickly reduce poverty of the people of CambodiaThere are two national roads and bridges that will be officially inaugurated today from Sereisophorn to Poipet and the national road No.6 from Poipet to the provincial town of Siem Reap with the length of 145.5 Km and bridges and drainage pipes on the national roads No.56-68 that we re-opened the construction of two layers of surfaced roads on December 5, 2009, in the last 24 days, that these bridges on the 3 national roads are in 85 places with the length of 2312.2 Km, square and round drainage of 377 places with the length of 7453.58 Km.
In fact, the traveling along these national roads almost could be made possible and the rebuilding has been dragging for so long, but it is just lucky that this restoration is also of better quality than the others because it is the first time that ADB provided financing in construction by requiring the construction conforming to higher technical standard than other roads by enlarging the width and having the road laterized in order to connect the roads funded by the Japanese grants, which is also of high standard from Roluos to the Provincial Town of Siem Reap, which was inaugurated in the year 2002. This inter-connectedness truly provides tremendous advantage for the people of Cambodia as well the people in the region, especially the neighboring people who will receive the interest from selling their varieties of products to Cambodia and the flow of tourists that continue their trip from visiting the neighboring countries to Ankore Wat temple and many other ancient temples in the northern part of Cambodia, especially in Siem Reap province.
In short, these roads will effectively raise the living standard of the people living in Cambodia’s northern part, including Utdor Meanchey and Banteay Meanchey as well as along Thai-Cambodia border, which, in the past, used to be battlefields and was isolated from Phnom Penh and other areas since the roads were ruined by natural catastrophes, war and lack of maintenance. However, we now have built quality roads and bridges, with proper width that meets the international standard, to transform this previously battlefield into a development zone as Cambodian and Thai people happily engage in trade and tourism exchange with smile and peace of mind.I would like to outline seven major objectives of the construction of the national roads No.5-.6, and bridges on national roads No.56-68, which aim at:
accelerating national and sub-regional economic growth as the transportation cost is reduced while confidence is enhanced, growth, influencing tourism sector is developed and jobs are created for the people;
reducing poverty incidence as people enjoy all season opportunity to seek jobs and market for their products, and to be able to connect to the more developed urban areas;
promoting social development and access to education and health services is guaranteed for the whole year;
encouraging private sector’s participation and giving more opportunity to domestic construction companies by engaging them in construction and maintenance;
fully collaborating with NGOs, working in the field of HIV/AIDS to increase people’s awareness on this disease;
undertaking administrative reform in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, especially the road sector, of which the management of roads and transparency should be a priority;
improving the efficiency of road management, maintenance, and financing systems.
As I recalled that ADB decided to finance the construction of this road after Cambodia had joined the GMS, in particular after the successful hosting of the 2002 1st GMS Summit in Phnom Penh, and this was also a reward to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for undertaking its own administrative reform by enabling the planning and IT sector to play a major role in the construction, restoration and maintenance of roads and bridges through more efficient structure, capacity development for those working in planning and IT sector, and the introduction of transport and road development policy. I fully support this effort, which aims at bringing about growth and social development to realize the government’s policy agenda as well as CMDGs.
The completed restoration of the national roads No. 5 and No.6 from Siemreap to Poipet, and the construction of bridges along the national roads No.56-68 occur when Cambodia is famous for its oldest culture in the region, manages to maintain economic stability, builds both hard and soft infrastructure to fulfill its role in international organizations such as UNESCO, WTO and so forth. Drawing from the nation’s pride and vision to overcome the global economic crisis, the Royal Government still identifies the construction and restoration of land, water and rail transport as a priority agenda as roads and bridges are crucial catalyst for growth, socio-economic development and improved likelihoods as a slogan goes “Roads are Hope for Everyone”.
Having been proud of achievements that we together have hardly earned and have been optimistic about bright Cambodian future, I would like to appeal to local authorities of all levels and the leadership and officials of relevant ministries/institutions and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to join hand to make further effort to link, maintain and sustain all transportation network nation-wide. At the same time, the contribution and support of the people is an indispensable factor to promote the construction and maintenance of road and bridge, keeping safety, preserving state and private property as well as people’s lives by being more cautious during driving in order to ensure less traffic accidents. Along with having good road, I would like to remind you to abide by the traffic law and regulations especially be more careful while driving by not driving over speed limit as well as respecting technicalities for vehicle modification, because at the present time, traffic accident still remains big challenge for Cambodia. Based on the statistics, we have seen that there were 1545 fatalities which mean 17.8 deaths per 1000 motor vehicles. In 2008, the number of fatalities reached 1635 which means only 15.1 deaths per 10000 motor vehicles, and by 2009 November, the number of lives claimed already amounted to 1500. Therefore, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, as a chairman of the national committee for traffic safety, must put furtherer effort to achieve ASEAN goals in promoting traffic safety as targeted to reduce traffic accidents from year to year, and from 2010 to achieve 7 dead per 10000 motor vehicles which means that we must ensure lesser 100 deaths per month. In order to reach these goals, while our roads have been better almost everywhere, I would like to appeal to competent forces and all people that if you drive motorbike, please 100% put on your helmet, if you drive car, you must run at speed as inscribed in traffic law i.e. at populated area at 40 kilometers per hour and outside populated areas at 90 kilometers per hour for small tourist car, and only 70 kilometer per hour for big car (such as lorry). Furthermore, you must keep yourselves away from using alcohol while driving and strictly check technicality of motor vehicles. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport must pay attention to improve road condition to ensure traffic safety. Another important thing, that I would like to emphasize to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and competent forces, is to absolutely take measure against overweight freighting, which is very bad cause to severe damage of roads and bridges. Especially, now all competent forces must strictly impose measures that the Asia Development Bank has provided to prevent over 40 tons freighting by 5-shaft lorry.
At the same time, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia, I will never forget to convey my thanks to all the Governments and people of friend countries and all development partners , particularly the Asia Development Bank (ADB), who always give attention to provide all kinds of support including spiritual, material and financial support for the cause of socio-economic development of Cambodia, especially through improvement and construction of transport infrastructure, which is key to economic growth for poverty reduction of Cambodian people. In parallel, I firmly hope that the ADB with cooperation with economic development cooperation fund (EDCF) and Export-Import Bank of Korea will facilitate and provide timely and enough loan to rehabilitate and cover national road 56 with double bituminous surface treatment. I would like to highly value, encourage and support the management, officials, workers, employees of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, local authorities and all institutions concerned for having making utmost effort for facilitation in order to successfully complete strategic plan that the Royal Government had laid out, also I would like to compliment Guandong Provincial Changda Highway Engineering Co. Ltd, Khaou Chuly MKK Co. Ltd and SPT Civil Group Co. Ltd, who are project implementers and Korea Consultants International (KCI), provincial department of public works and transportation of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Uddor Meanchey and Siem Reap who endeavored to implement project rehabilitating and constructing national roads No.5-6 link between Poi Pet and Siem Reap and building bridges on national roads No.56-68 with quality that meets regional standard.At the end, at the time people all over the world are celebrating forthcoming Happy International New Year 2010 , I would like to wish all Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncles, Officials, Teachers, beloved Students the 4 gems of Buddhist blessing; Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.
May I inaugurate national roads No.5 and No.6 and bridges and drainage pipes on national roads No.56-68!