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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vat Phou to have new access road

Champassak province plans to build a road to improve access to Vat Phou and to link the neighbouring districts of Phonthong and Champassak.

The provincial Public Works and Transport Department has plans in place for the 25km road but is waiting for funding, department head Dr Khong Soukaloun said on Monday.

“We are waiting for a loan from the Bank of the Lao PDR before we can embark on the project,” he said.

He said once the road was built it would make it easier for motorists to get to Vat Phou Champassak, which is the country's second World Heritage Site.

The road will enable visitors to reach Vat Phou directly without having to take a ferry across the Mekong River . It will also facilitate the transport of goods to neighbouring districts.

By making it easier for local villagers to take their produce to markets, the government will come closer to achieving its goal to eradicate poverty nationwide by 2020, said Dr Khong.

The proposed road will cost more than 100 billion kip (about US$12 million), said project head Salongxay Douangboupha.

Mr Salongxay said he was confident the road would go ahead and sufficient funding would be obtained to allow it to open for public use by 2010.

The project is in line with the province's aim to provide more convenience in travel and goods transport and boost production.

(Latest Update June 25, 2008)

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