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Road project prompts Sen Sok protest

Road project prompts Sen Sok protest

RESIDENTS of Phnom Penh Thmey and Toeuk Thla communes who stand to be affected by an ongoing road expansion project staged a protest Monday in Sen Sok (formerly Russey Keo) district to demand compensation from City Hall.

The protest came on the heels of a directive residents said had been signed Friday by Sen Sok district Governor Khoung Sreng notifying some of those  living near the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship highway - more popularly known as Hanoi Road - that they had five days to move homes, fences and stalls to make room for its expansion.  

Similar notices were issued last December and May by Khlaing Huot, the governor of Russey Keo district.

Khoung Sreng and Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun could not be reached for comment Monday.

But Kong Sambo, deputy chief of Phnom Penh Thmey commune, who also could not be reached for comment, said last month that current plans called for the road to be expanded to a width of 30 metres. He said officials had no plans to provide compensation for people affected by the expansion.  

But Nhean Leng, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance and chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Resettlement

Committee, said he believes City Hall should compensate affected residents.

Tey Narin, who said he will lose his house to the expansion, said Monday that he would have nowhere to live if the government did not compensate affected residents.

"We are not against the development, but there must be compensation or I will have no shelter," he said.

A 42-year-old woman who requested anonymity because she said she has relatives working for the local government said she would not leave her house before receiving compensation.

She said residents who had already left their houses had done so because "they are frightened". 


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