Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - River widening divides opinions

River widening divides opinions

River widening divides opinions

120316_02b

More than 30 families living near the Siem Reap River in Siem Reap’s Aranh Sakor village have sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen and member of parliament Seang Nam, asking not to be evicted from their land because of the planned widening of the river.

{jathumbnail}

Village resident Dy Saroeun, 34, said authorities had measured her land, but failed to provide her with any explanation regarding the purpose or result of the measurement.

“We have lived along this channel [of the river] since the Khmer Rouge regime. Why do they want us to relocate if we don’t live on government land?” Dy Saroeun said, adding that she possessed legal documents that proved her ownership of the land.

Siem Reap district governor Tep Bun Chhay told the Post yesterday villagers living by the river did not understand the river was being widened to protect Siem Reap town against the effects of flooding and bolster development.

“Widening Siem Reap’s river has cost more than US$1 million. That is not a joke,” Tep Bun Chhay said.

“We would like to widen the river in a straight line, and that may affect some of those families [living along the river], but we will give them compensation and land.”

In their letter to the premier, villagers asked that the river be widened in its current shape, as opposed to the provincial planning authority’s plan to straighten it out during the widening process.

However, some of the villagers were not bothered by the idea of moving, as long as the government provided them with fair compensation for their relocation.

Resident Seng Sok Heng said she had given authorities permission to measure her land even though she had no information about the final plans.

“We will relocate to a new place if the compensation is acceptable,” she said.

Nineteen families have already been relocated after receiving monetary compensation, as well as a seven-by-15 metre plot of land.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all