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90 villagers demand relocation

VILLAGERS from Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district are demanding that authorities give them access to a relocation site after police confiscated their housing materials yesterday in preparation for a major highway expansion along National Road 6.

More than 90 families from Chruoy Changvar commune’s Kean Klaing village were ordered in July to immediately vacate their homes along a stretch of the highway north of the capital, which is set to undergo an expansion. Most rejected an offer of 6-by-12-metre land plots in Kandal province and US$477.

Villager Vat Cheng Horng said that police violently entered their homes yesterday to take away construction materials after district officials discovered that some families were rebuilding parts of their houses.
Seung Phun, a village representative, said people were still waiting for new land promised by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“The land concession that Hun Sen granted us has not been measured and divided for us.”

But district governor Khlaing Huot said that after the majority of families declined the housing offer, the Premier said that land concessions would be made in their home districts.

“I told the villagers that they are no longer allowed to construct homes on the sidewalk,” he said.

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