Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Address at the The Official Opening of the Construction Site of Preah Kossamak Hospital (STOP PET LOK SANG) Overpass

Phnom Penh, December 29, 2010

- Your Venerable Monks,

- Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests,

- Dear Compatriots, Teachers and Students!

Today, my wife and I are very pleased to be here in the Official Opening of the Construction Site of Preah Kossamak Hospital (STOP PET LOK SANG) Sky Bridge, which is located in the capital city of Phnom Penh. In this joyous moment, my wife and I highly value the effort of the Phnom Penh Municipality and related institutions in realizing this project, a contribution to the Royal Government’s physical infrastructure development effort, which has been regarded as “the locomotive of growth”. Along with that, I appreciate the management of Phnom Penh Municipality that work hard for better physical infrastructure, cleaner and more orderly Municipality and safer environment, and transform the Municipality into another major tourist destination in Cambodia. I believe this Sky Bridge will further enhance the image of Phnom Penh which is the heart, the political, administrative, diplomatic, economic, commercial, industrial and tourist center of Cambodia. This Sky Bridge is indeed the second ever built in Phnom Penh, and we will continue to build more in the capital and municipalities when our country is further growing. I strongly believe that the Phnom Penh Municipality will work harder to develop physical infrastructure and enhance the image of Phnom Penh by “using the municipal budget to finance its urban development” or mobilize external sources of resource.

In particular, we take great pride in our capital as it has successfully hosted some important summits at international level.

Undeniably, infrastructure development is not only the mandate of the Royal Government to provide public goods and service to maximize social benefit, but also one priority of socio-economic development policy and life and death of Cambodia. Separately, so far because of inability to satisfy all demands in short-term, the Royal Government has formulated policy to promote and mobilize capable development partners and private sector to complementarily develop physical infrastructure in order to allow them to actively and dynamically take part in shortening time of socio-economic development to prosper Cambodia in an accelerated fashion.

In this sense, it shows that the Royal Government has been making utmost effort, in particular for the last several years, through promoting rehabilitation and development of all sectors in order to raise livelihood and welfare of the people rapidly as inscribed in the Rectangular Strategy , in which the Royal Government takes physical infrastructure as priority that can be compared to locomotive of economic growth and as effective mean for poverty reduction of the people and for solving any problems. Indeed, development of physical infrastructures, in particular road-bridge, that are veins of national economic sector and have been interconnected throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia in form of comprehensive economic organic structure, aiming for internal integration and integrating Cambodian economy into world and regional economy, are also factors triggering economic growth and ensuring equitable sharing from economic prosperity for each citizen nation-wide.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government, my wife and I would like to warmly welcome development partners, private sector, and all donors for making contribution to the development of our Cambodian society for progress and prosperity. In brief, all contributions have answered to demand for infrastructure of our people, which constantly increases from day to day and from year to year.

According to the report delivered by H.E Kep Chuptema, Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, the Sky Bridge is 345-meter long and 15.20-meter wide, and has 4 lanes. In addition, another Sky Bridge that is Y-junction annexed is 160-meter long and 6.5-meter wide with one lane for car and another for motorbike. Both Sky Bridges will cost USD 8.705.808. The construction of the Sky Bridge will take 13 months and is planned to be completed at the end of January 2012.

Truly, this new Sky Bridge will provide tremendous benefits contributing to the socio-economic development and will solve the confronting problem of rising population, and rising number of vehicles that have been increasing steadily from year to year causing busy and congested traffics on many roads. Indeed, this Russian Boulevard has always been very busy and congested with traffics as people are commuting through to Phnom Penh from other provinces such as Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Kampot and other areas in the west of Phnom Penh. Hence, this Sky Bridge construction will certainly contribute to reducing traffic jams in the area, and will improve the features of Phnom Penh capital city to compete with other cities in the developing countries.

It is true that the need of society is steadily increasing from day to day in all sectors, especially the increase in commuting traffics. In this circumstance, we cannot satisfy this great need in a short time. In this regard, we need to push and attract private sector to invest in physical infrastructure such as bridge, road, sewage system that can help solve the traffic congestion problems, the internal integration, effectiveness of economy and the equal shares of fruitful results of economic growth. In this sense, in order to fulfill this cause I would like ask the management of municipality to use all means and strategies to attract more investors to invest in physical infrastructure in the form of “Build-Operate- Transfer”, adding to what has been provided as we are more ambitious in the construction of this type of the Sky Bridge in order to speedily solve the traffic jam problems. In this spirit, I would like to ask the management of the Municipality to continue studying the construction projects of other Sky Bridges based on two principles:

1. To accelerate the speed of development of the Phnom Penh Capital, moving beyond the need of the people and the society.

2. To make each construction project in line with the changing need of society for physical infrastructure in the next 20 years at least

In addition, the Municipality of Phnom Penh needs to form new ideas for solving other problems as local development starting from local authority perspectives and cares. In this spirit, I would like to provide a number of view points to Municipality of Phnom Penh, provincial and municipal authorities in the development of physical infrastructure and work that ensure the safety of pedestrians. Observing and anticipating that the Municipal City of Phnom Penh will have more pedestrians and the number of vehicles is increasing, I realize that we are now at the right time to think more about constructing and expanding the existing infrastructure in order to ensure safety and solve the traffic congestion in the future, in which we have to improve the road pavement for the pedestrians, study the possibility of building Sky Bridges or Underground for the pedestrians to cross, especially in the areas of crowded people such as the areas of Teuk Thla Market, Doem Kor Market, Steung Meanchey Market, New Market (Psar Thmey), Olympic Market, Oreussey Market, etc. At the same time, I have also noted that there are lots of taxies and buses coming into the city every day, which also caused congestion and disorder on the roads. In this spirit, I would like the Phnom Penh Municipality to look for the possibility to build a common station according to each direction, which can actually receive the taxies and buses in the capital city.

As for the Sky Bridge we are celebrating the opening of the site today will become another historical construction for the capital city of Phnom Penh as well for all people in Phnom Penh City. I believe that this Sky Bridge will contribute to solving traffic congestion. In this regard, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am still standing firm with the efforts and full support to promote the restoration and building of various physical infrastructure, which is the prioritized and primary policy to make sure that Cambodian physical infrastructure is modern, similar to the neighboring countries in the region in a short time.

In fact, lots of achievements we all have made so far are the noble and priceless pride for the Kingdom of Cambodia because we have started from scratch with bare hand for the development of this infrastructure sector since the liberation day on 7 January 1979. Along with that, we have also recognized that although we have achieved tremendously in this sector, we still continue solving many urgent issues, in which there are human resource development, institutional capacity development, strengthening and expanding the infrastructure for socio-economic development in order to ensure the attraction of investment, enhance agriculture, industry, agro-industry, tourism, construction, welfare of the people as well as ensuring high economic growth and fast poverty reduction.

Before ending, I would like to appeal to all people who are living in this area and would like to request all levels of authorities to provide good cooperation, which is the perfect characteristic of our Khmer people in contributing to accelerate the construction of this Sky Bridge and to make sure that this new achievement will come into reality to serve the interest of our people in the long run.

At the end, together with the crowded gathering with great pleasure in the Opening Ceremony of the Construction Site ofPreah Kossamak Hospital (STOP PET LOK SANG) Sky Bridge today, my wife and I would like to wish Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Teachers and Students and all Compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

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