Cambodia said it would not consult further about the Funan Techo channel 0Cambodia said it would not consult further about the Funan Techo channel 0

(Dan Tri) – Cambodia announced that it will maintain its plan to build the Funan Techo canal and has no obligation to consult with countries in the region.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chanthol (Photo: Cambodia News).

`Cambodia has an obligation to notify the Joint Committee before carrying out construction work and is not required to consult in advance or have specific agreements with member countries of the Mekong River Commission,` Deputy Prime Minister

He emphasized that the government does not neglect its responsibility to share information about the project both officially and unofficially.

He said that if requested, Cambodia would provide further information to the Mekong River Commission, but was under no legal obligation to do so.

Mr. Chanthol said that Cambodia has fulfilled its responsibilities under the 1995 Mekong Agreement by notifying the Funan Techo canal project to the Mekong River Commission last August.

However, the Commission said, Cambodia did not share the canal’s feasibility study even though many parties requested it and the Commission sent official letters of request twice in August and October last year.

Mr. Chanthol also said that the water flow through the canal is expected to be only 5m3/s, equivalent to 0.053% of the Mekong River’s flow.

According to Mr. Sun Chanthol, the canal will be used for land irrigation and fishing.

He added that the project has the participation of many organizations such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Asian Development Bank, the Mekong River Commission Secretariat, and Waterway Transportation Consulting Company Limited.

Cambodia said it would not consult further about the Funan Techo channel

Graphic of the Funan Techo canal project, the red line is the part of the canal that will be built, the blue line is part of the existing Bassac River (Graphic: Straits Times).

According to the Cambodian government’s Physical and Social Infrastructure Impact Assessment, the project is expected to impact 1,585 houses and 149.5 hectares of residential land, along with other environmental and social impacts.

According to the report, after the project comes into operation, the transport of Cambodian import and export goods through Vietnam’s waterways is expected to decrease from the current 33% to 10%.

The Funan Techo Canal is expected to start construction later this year after the state-owned China Road and Bridge Group reached an agreement to implement the project at a Belt and Road Initiative conference last October.

According to the plan, the canal will be 100m wide upstream, 80m downstream, and 5.4m deep.

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