Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday demanded “urgent action” to help people without land titles living on state land.
Addressing a cabinet meeting at the Council of Ministers, the premier appealed to “all relevant” authorities to take “urgent action to cut off land for the villagers and give them land titles so that they have the opportunity to develop and get benefits from economic development”.
His call-to-action came after the government endorsed the Phnom Penh 2035 master plan, which will now head to the National Assembly for approval.
Ses Sok Kosal, deputy director of legal affairs and human rights at City Hall, said the “very important” plan would set development regulations, including the distance construction must be setback from the roadside.
“Our people build homes as they want, some even on the roadside; when we need the place, it causes [a negative] effect,” he said.
“Some NGOs criticised us because we did not have a master plan, so now that we do, all people must follow it for the public interest.”
Government spokesman Phay Siphan took to Facebook to laud the capital’s rapid development.
“Phnom Penh has changed its size two times. Now it is 678 square kilometres with nearly 2 million people,” he said.
“Before, Phnom Penh was small … after 1979, Samdech [Hun Sen] led officers from the authorities to clear forest [in Phnom Penh] for the safety of villagers from the Khmer Rouge.
“Phnom Penh in 1979 and Phnom Penh in 2015 are completely different like a dream, many high buildings and completely developed.”