The Royal Government of Cambodia has expressed strong motivation to improve its infrastructure facilities to accommodate the Kingdom’s fast economic growth. Phnom Penh’s road network currently plays a significant role to connect economic corridors’ artery to fuel its regional integration. As the government has shortage of financial resources to fund projects for infrastructure development, the private sector partnership is important. However, in some cases, most of crucial roads have been approved under international assistance notably donors from China and Japan.
Influx of annually $billions capital from foreign direct investment in construction sector ranging from new urban extension, luxuries condominium…etc. to satellite projects, Phnom Penh has been considered as one of the fasted growth cities to be a new zone of regional economy, service investment, finance, and culture and tourism. Simultaneously, Phnom Penh has challenged with poor infrastructure management covering on traffic, wastewater, electricity, and environmental pollution…etc.
Recently, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen strongly criticized on the Department of Public Works and Transport for insufficiently action to rehabilitate and maintain damaged roads in Phnom Penh. The Department then has been taking immediate responses to repair road hollow, surface pavement…etc. For public transportation, according to national policy, rehabilitation, maintenance, expansion and reconstruction are the medium term government’s objective to improve access to a land transport system throughout the nation. However, road users are skeptical on indigent road safety protection.
Possible Safety Alerts to Protect Passengers from Preventable Risks: The Municipality of Phnom Penh and stakeholders like the Ministry of Public Works and Transport plus private contractor should stipulate safety alert in order to protect passengers from any unprecedented, but preventable risks. The current practices caused obstacles and safety challenges to road users. Practically, in the purpose to reduce obstacles and the concerns, numerous safety alerts shall be identified as below:
- Transportation Management Plan: At construction site, we actually have heavy equipment, big vehicle, concrete pipe, workers… Prior every road construction project, contractor should design temporary traffic control to protect both workers as well as pedestrians around the compound of working zone, especially during the busy period when people are departing to office in morning and leaving from working place in evening.
- Warning and Alerting Traffic Sign: Along the construction zone, contractor should properly install warning and altering signs to show detour direction, traffic pattern shifts, cones to divide between buffer area and travelling route… which are highly visible (day and night). Of course, inside construction spot, there are heavy equipment like roller, truck, excavator, compactors and other operating machines. In this case, alerting device such as mirrors, visual aid and light should be properly functional to assist operators for safety consideration.
- Circulate an On Site Safety Program: Specific program covers on method to prevent accidents including awareness on health hazard and safety education to people living along construction site. Contractor should arrange first aid material, urgent medical assistance in the unprecedented accidents, and overall training to workers. In addition, the program should circulate a flexible traffic schedule to monitor the movement of vehicles in order to reduce any potential dangers.
The Department of Public Works and Transports has functioned as a crucial observer and implementer, in cooperation with contractors and other relevant stakeholders, to improve safety protection on road upgrading system. The result will be positive in term of city beautification and reducing scramble traffic congestion. To manage for sustainable and inclusive city, Phnom Penh has considered infrastructure upgrading to improve livelihood of the residents, avoid traffic congestion, and environmental degradation.