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Prime minister’s namesake road project leaves residents in prolonged limbo

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The area of road where Hun Sen Boulevard is set to be expanded has yet to settle scores with the affected residents. Hong Menea

Prime minister’s namesake road project leaves residents in prolonged limbo

The expansion of a portion of Hun Sen Boulevard, the new nine kilometre-long highway that will form a key component of the enormous ING City south of Phnom Penh, is struggling to get off the ground due to a large group of houses standing in the way.

The road expansion in Kbal Thnal commune, which will widen the link from Preah Monivong Boulevard and Boeung Tompun (Street 271) to Takhmao, was expected to be finished this year, yet the houses and families within them still remain.

The group of families, of which there are 42, in the area, say that they will not be pushed out of their current homes unless they are able to promptly move into the new homes.

ING Holdings, which is developing ING City, a $696 million satellite city project being built on 2,572 hectares of land, has been in talks with families located on the land earmarked for the road connection since 2014, reportedly promising to finish approximately five flat house buildings in time for the house exchange in early 2017.

However, some families in the area are skeptical of the flat houses being completed this year, expecting delays to the already protracted issue.

One of the construction workers at the site of the flat houses who wished to remain anonymous said the project had been halted because of financial difficulties.

“The company did not offer financial support to us and I don’t know when it will be resumed,” the worker said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Houses affected by the road expansion, with residents expected to move into flat houses this year. Hong Menea

“We cannot continue constructing the houses.”

It’s understood that dwellers in four existing houses close to the main road will be forced to move into the flat houses not far from the area, while other houses located further away from the road will be moved to Chak Angre commune.

Kim Phorn, whose business is designated on the site where the road expansion will take place, said there was much confusion with the status surrounding the flat house.

“There are nine houses to move out but they will move out when the company finishes the construction of the flat house and is ready to give me and the others the hard title of the flat house,” he said.

“I own a flat house and a 20 square metre warehouse close to the road, so I will be one of those to move to the flat houses next to that new highway,” he added.

In addition to the house exchange, it was relayed by the residents that each affected family will receive compensation in the order of $30,000.

“My family has not heard back from the company after we claimed for higher compensation than the other families who have claimed for about $30,000,” a resident of the district, who declined to be named, told Post Property last week.

“We own a 200 square metre house and I do not know whether the flat houses are going to finish being constructed by 2017 as they have promised us. It seems that no one is working there right now,” she said.

City Hall spokesperson Met Measpheakdey told Post Property that the information from the local people was informal, and assured that ING Holdings was still hoping to undertake the road enlargement. However, no clarity was given on the status of the flat houses.

“ING used to have an internal conflict with its partner, but the deal [and flat houses] is to be complete within the next six months or more,” he said.

In terms of the deal and internal issues of the company, Measpheakdey explained that “the City Hall cannot interfere in the company’s and those families’ deal.”

ING declined to answer Post Property’s questions relating to the enlargement of Hun Sen Boulevard and its connection to Street 271.

Seng Lot, spokesman for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, could not be reached prior to deadline.

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