BY Buth Reaksmey Kong
Nhem Saran, director of the municipal Department of Public Works and Transport, said yesterday that the project would begin in the city centre early next year before being gradually extended to the outskirts of the capital.
The project – which is set to upend Phnom Penh’s anarchic system of street and house numbering – came about as a means of enhancing public order, he said.
“I notice that many houses and even streets still lack signs, which makes it very hard for our officers to implement their daily work,” he said.
“Once all houses, villas, flats and roads in Phnom Penh are adequately labelled, it will make things less complicated for us and our people, and accelerate development and progress in our country.”
He said the Chinese Chung Hong Company had been commissioned to manufacture the aluminum signs, but that businesses and homeowners in the capital would be required to pay US$4 each to cover the costs.
The scheme received a mixed reaction from residents yesterday, with some expressing concern about the fee they would be required to pay.
Sum Chanthol, a 50-year-old resident of Russei Keo district, yesterday welcomed the initiative, saying that her house was currently unnumbered, making it hard for visitors to find.
She noted, however, that authorities should have consulted with homeowners first if they were to be expected to foot the bill.
“It is very good to make new address labels for houses and roads in our capital city, but I think that this proposed price is very expensive for the people to pay,” she said.
“The authorities should reduce the price and organise a public forum about this with the participation of the affected people before setting the price.”
According to figures provided by City Hall, Phnom Penh is currently home to more than 260,000 families.