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Lakeside residents get order to remove houses

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A fisherman navigates his boat through the water at Boeung Samroang lake in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Nearly 200 families will face legal consequences if they do not remove houses built next to fish farms from Boeung Samroang and Boeung Tamouk lakes in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district by early next month, officials said yesterday.

Samroang commune chief Yin Im said that 39 families from his commune had built the houses at Boeung Samroang lake over a year ago.

“We would like them to remove their houses from the lake [by June 10],” he said, adding that villagers could keep their fish farms for the next seven months.

Over 100 families from Prek Phnov commune have fish farms at Boeung Samroang lake and 44 have farms at Boeung Tamouk lake, Yim In said.

“They are violating a 2003  government sub-decree in which 336 hectares around Boeung Samroang lake was declared state property,” he said, adding that he was unsure of whether a sub-decree had declared that land at Boeung Tamouk lake belonged to the state.

Yim In said the deadline had been announced for the second time at a meeting with affected families last Tuesday.

Men Sothy, 40, a villager with a fish farm at Boeung Samroang lake, said yesterday that villagers were not allowed to  express concerns at the meeting.

“We wanted to [also] keep our houses for seven months,” he said.

Sen Sok district police chief Mak Hong said that local authorities would take action against those who ignored the deadline.

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