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Fee dispute: Complaints over tourist site charge

Fee dispute
Residents in Kampong Thom province have complained to provincial council members that a private firm has been charging fees to visit Stung Chinith tourist site at the One Makara dam, which was constructed during the Khmer Rouge era, officials said yesterday.

Baray district governor Hak Muyseng and provincial council president Nam Tom claimed that provincial governor Chhun Chhorn granted the firm a licence to charge fees.

“The province issued a licence for [the firm],” Hak Muyseng said. Nam Tom said that legally the governor must discuss investment projects with provincial council members.

Villagers in the district’s Balaing commune claimed that an investor named Pen Vanny obtained a licence four to five months ago, charging 1,000 riel (US$0.25) entry per person.

Chhun Chhorn dismissed the allegations, claiming that the Tourism Ministry had granted the firm a licence.

However, Tourism Minister Thong Khon denied the ministry had issued the licence.

“Providing [a licence] to any company is up to the province and district,” he said. Contact details for Pen Vanny were not available.

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