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Families told to make way for a bridge

More than 160 families from the Srah Chak commune, in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district, submitted letters on Wednesday to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the city municipality requesting proper compensation after they were asked to leave their homes to make way for a new bridge to Chrouy Changvar.

Construction on the US$28 million bridge is slated to begin by the end of this year.

It will be built parallel to the  Japanese Friendship Bridge to ease the flow of traffic.

The families were told in a letter signed by Daun Penh district governor Sok Sambath that they had 15 days to move out so construction on the bridge could begin.

“To move makeshift and disordered buildings to start constructing the Chrouy Changvar Bridge . . . [will be] better in order to serve public interests,” it said.  The letter did not mention any compensation arrangement for the residents forced to leave, all of whom live in village 16 of the Srah Chak commune.

Yi Sroeun, 46, said she, along with several other families, had lived in Village 16 since 1986 and being forced to move without compensat-ion was unacceptable.

Srah Chak commune chief Chhay Thirith said authorities had been researching the  number of villagers that would be affected by the bridge’s construction, but he declined to comment on the issue of  compensation.

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