Four former Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology department locations in Phnom Penh have been reclassified from state public to state private property, according to the latest Royal Book of November 12.
The reclassification sub-decree of the locations, in Teuk Thal and Sen Sok districts, covers a total of 44,456 square metres and paves the way for the property to be leased to private developers.
Mao Buntheoun, a department director at the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, declined to respond in detail to questions yesterday, only commenting that he was in the dark about the reclassification.
“I know nothing. I don’t know what the purpose of taking this location is for,” he said.
Water Resources Minister Lim Keanhour could not be reached yesterday.
The sub-decree, signed by Prime Minster Hun Sen on October 30, overrides any existing land arrangements on the subject properties.
Six families of former ministry officials who have been living at the locations of the disused departments confirmed they had already been told to dismantle their houses as the plot of land had been sold to a private company.
“I am unaware of the company’s name and the purpose of taking this land because they just told us to move,” said a resident who declined to be named.
In February, Hun Sen threatened to withdraw the position of two ministers who wanted to relocate their ministerial building to the outskirts of the city and lease the more attractive inner-city sites for a profit.
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