CITY HALL has given 18 families in Village 23 near the Boeung Kak lakeside a temporary reprieve from eviction, after initially telling them to dismantle their homes by Friday to make way for an access road to the area.
“We do not need to leave on October 29 because Phnom Penh municipal authorities received a proposal from us and said they will wait for a response from [Phnom Penh Governor] Kep Chuktema,” said Mey Chanthorn, whose home and grocery store in Village 23 have been slated for demolition.
The families – who are to make way for the widening of the access road, R8 – have been offered about US$238 in compensation and 5-by-12 square-metre plots of land in Dangkor district, while families directly affected by Shukaku Inc-related development at the lake have been offered $8,470.
“I will not leave if there is no reasonable compensation,” May Chanthorn said.
A total of 12 access roads are set to be built at the lakeside ahead of the construction of a controversial 133-hectare housing and commercial project by Shukaku Inc, a local firm.
On October 14, Tuol Kork district governor Seng Ratanak ordered the 18 families to dismantle their homes within 15 days, adding that the villagers were “living in anarchy” on state land.
Ek Yeurn, a Tuol Kork district official, said local authorities had informed Village 23 families on Friday that no action would be taken to dismantle homes until Kep Chuktema returned at the end of the month.
Huy Sokhun, another affected resident, said villagers from the lakeside would gather in front of United Nations Development Programme offices today in an effort to persuade UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to meet with them when he is in Cambodia later this week.