The owner of development firm Phan Imex has pledged to grant plots of land, equipment and food to some families who were relocated to Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district this week after they were violently evicted from Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila community.
On Tuesday, more than 100 police, military police and company security guards demolished more than 200 homes in Borei Keila, in a clash that left at least 10 people injured.
Eight residents were arrested and charged with intentional violence and obstructing public officials. They are being detained in Prey Sar prison.
Yesterday, Phan Imex owner Suy Sophan said she would grant 75 of the 197 families who relocated to Srah Po village in Phsar Daek commune – which the company previously referred to as Phnom Bat village – five-by-12-metre plots of land.
The remaining 122 families had already received flats at Borei Keila in eight buildings constructed by the company, Suy Sophan said.
“They received houses from our development project, so we cannot give them land,” Suy Sophan said yesterday, as she, municipal and provincial officials verified which families would receive land, equipment and food in the village.
“The poor residents who were provided with nothing from our project will suffer from injustice if we give land to those greedy cheaters,” she said.
In 2003, Phan Imex agreed to build 10 buildings on two hectares of land to provide housing for 1,776 families, in exchange for development rights to 2.6 hectares.
The company constructed eight buildings before suspending construction in 2010, leaving almost 400 families in limbo.
More than 60 families were still seeking on-site housing at Borei Keila in accordance with the 2003 contract, 39-year-old Borei Keila representative Chum Nhann said.
Evicted families moved to resettlement sites in Tuol Sambo village, on Phnom Penh’s outskirts, and Srah Po village, in Kandal province, where some families had already relocated.
Resident Phoung Linda, who received an apartment in Borei Keila, said she had come to the village to obtain housing for her younger sister but had been told by the company that they counted as one family.
Some residents from among the 75 families yesterday accused other families of cheating to obtain land when they had already received housing.
Am Sam Ath, senior monitor with rights group Licadho, called for the firm to provide the land to villagers who had not yet received flats and had rented houses in Borei Keila.
Residents in the village said yesterday they did not have fresh water, adequate sanitation, proper housing or kitchen equipment.
In Tuol Sambo village 27, relocated families are expected to receive land titles, according to local officials and Borei Keila residents.