The pumping of sand and filling in of lakes and marshy areas prone to flooding, with the eventual aim of creating the Chroy Changvar Satellite City, will be completed in the fourth quarter, according to Overseas Cambodian Investment Company (OCIC) sources associated with the development.
Meanwhile, the sources said, work to settle disputes involving current residents of to-be-developed land was under way and under the jurisdiction of the Phnom Penh municipal government.
The satellite city, which has already received $1.6 billion in investment, is planned to cover an area of 387 hectares.
OCIC project manager Touch Samnang said that 80 per cent of the sand required to lay the groundwork for the satellite city had already been pumped into place, and that the OCIC planned to complete the pumping work by October. Municipal authorities were working step by step to resolve ongoing issues related to compensation and the provision of housing, as well as making market stalls available through the means of a lottery.
“The satellite city project will see an investment of $1.6 billion. The city development is similar to Diamond Island [Koh Pich], but we are yet to come up with a blueprint that makes the project’s image clear,” he said, adding that it could take more than 20 years for the project to be completely finished.
Infrastructure projects associated with the development would include a 6-kilometre main road and a new bridge (to complement the Chroy Changvar Bridge, currently under construction), connecting the satellite city with National Road 5.
“The location of the satellite city is between two rivers [the Tonle Sap and the Mekong] and close to Phnom Penh, and there is currently nowhere with so much land next to the city,” he said.
The satellite city falls within three communes in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district – Chroy Changvar, Prek Leap, and Prek Ta Sek.
Chief of Chroy Chongvar commune, Pech Sarern, said there are 55 plots of land affected by the project, but that disputes over 20 of these plots had already been resolved through compensation. The remainder, he said, were still subject to negotiations with municipal authorities.
Prek Leap commune chief Preap Mony said solutions to problems associated with families living in the commune were moving forward, and 11 families had won lucky draws for new homes and market stalls, while seven families were close to completing negotiations with municipal authorities.
He added that negotiations had been peaceful and that no forced relocations would take place.
The general manager of VMC Real Estate Cambodia, Dith Channa, said Chroy Changvar had a lot of potential because the bridge connections would make for easy access to downtown Phnom Penh, while the city would also be far enough away to offer fresh air, comfort and an overall good living environment. He added that by the time such a big project was well and truly under way, it would attract many residents.
Channa admitted that price and the quality of infrastructure and amenities would be factors in terms of attracting people to buy into the area, but still stressed that it offered great potential.