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Pub Street in Siem Reap faces threat of legal action

Officials are trying to clean up Pub Street in Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Khmer Times photo)

Siem Reap governor Khim Bun Song has set early October as a deadline for businesses and individuals to comply with guidelines issued in July to clean up the popular Pub Street tourist area.

The Tourism Ministry quoted Bun Song as issuing the deadline, informing businesses and individuals that they would face legal action if they do not comply, the Khmer Times reported on Wednesday.

“The Siem Reap provincial administration will take legal action against any business owners or individuals who continue to disobey the instructions, including the possibility of closing their business,” the governor said.

In July, Bun Song issued guidelines to clean up Pub Street, noting business owners and motorists have in the past encroached upon the street with illegal signs, electrical wires and parking lots, all of which must be remedied.

“These actions have seriously impacted public order,” he said at the time. “They have caused a loss of beauty, increased road traffic, eliminated sidewalks, caused accidents, and inhibited the implementation of road traffic laws.”

His guidelines instructed business owners to cease operation of illegal parking lots, remove illegal electrical wiring and signage, and also advised taxi drivers to respect the rules of the road.

The Siem Reap Energy Department was to re-organise the electricity network, too.

Bun Tharith, Siem Reap provincial hall spokesman, could not be reached for comment.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon has agreed to enter Siem Reap as a candidate in the 2018 Asean Clean Tourist City Contest.

Sim Sophea, a local resident, said authorities have been measuring roads in the past few days and reminding on-street vendors to remove their stalls in order to ensure public order.

“They should just ensure order and sanitation,” she said. “If they close their businesses, it will affect their livelihoods.” 

According to a Tourism Ministry report, some 3.7 million tourists visited the province in the first seven months of 2017.

Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor Wat, the most famous ancient temple site in Cambodia and a Unesco World Heritage site.


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