The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) on Monday asked the Japanese firm NIPPON KOEI to conduct a study on railway systems in Phnom Penh after the company presented the project for the improvement of passenger transportation systems in some provinces in the north Cambodia, said a release by MPWT.
The project study was proposed during a meeting between a group of officials from both MPWT and other relevant institutions led by Secretary of State of MPWT Touch Chankosal and NIPPON KOEI’s delegation led by its Consulting Engineer Hirotoshi Suzuki at the MPWT building.
Chankosal appreciated the presentation by the technical team of NIPPON KOEI during the meeting regarding the project for the improvement of the existing railway systems in the northern provinces that include Battambang Province and Banteay Meanchey Province’s Serey Sorphoan and Poipet cities.
Chankosal said NIPPON KOEI should consider conducting a study on the feasibility of the construction of railway systems in Phnom Penh and especially the tramway. “Railways is a type of transportation that is popular among consumers as they are charged at low fees compared to automated guideway transit,” Chankosal said.
Chankosal also pointed out that the automated guideway transit or AGT has already been studied by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
NIPPON KOEI has received support from the Japan Transport Cooperative Association (JTCA)–the only international cooperation institution in Japan that focuses on transportation infrastructure development.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has recently outlined the broad contours for the development of infrastructure connectivity in Phnom Penh, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap stating that these provinces are the most potential economic centres expected to boost the pace of development countrywide.
The projects for the construction of Battambang-Siem Reap, Phnom Penh-Siem Reap Expressway, Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville-Thai border express railways and other projects are being studied. “If we decide to do the express railways, it would not take a long time to finish as we already have the existing railways, but they are currently not able to support the economic development,” Prime Minister Hun Sen said.
Mr Hun Sen stated that JICA of Japan had already studied the construction of sky trains in Phnom Penh, but due to the impact, the project was cancelled, pointing out that spending nearly $2 billion on sky trains alone in Phnom Penh does not seem to be fair, as the countryside needs a lot of bridges and roads.
“The subway is a priority in transport infrastructure development in Phnom Penh in the future … In Phnom Penh, the possibility is not flyovers, sky train, but subway … It is too complicated to build a sky train because it will affect partially people’s house rooftops,” said the Premier, adding that the subway train is among other alternatives – metro or sky train.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.