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Sihanoukville beach to be cleared of fences, says gov’t

Tourists walk on a beach in Sihanoukville.
Tourists walk on a beach in Sihanoukville. Heng Chivoan

Sihanoukville beach to be cleared of fences, says gov’t

The government yesterday ordered all fences blocking public access along Independence Beach in Sihanoukville to be dismantled as part of a continuing campaign to remove private encroachments on the coastal city’s public beaches.

“The fences will be removed, but we suggest people should help keep the environment clean in this area,” Tourism Minister Thong Khon said following a meeting yesterday between a special working group representing concerned ministries and local authorities and private sector firms.

“The public can access the beach area for enjoying, walking or fishing,” he said.The meeting did not decide on the consequences for private companies that have built structures occupying public land, which extends inland 50 metres from the shoreline. This will be addressed in further discussions, Khon said.

Sihanoukville city governor Y Sokleng confirmed that fences blocking public beach access would begin coming down starting today. However, he said it could take time to resolve issues related to privately built structures on the beach.

“They need to recheck all documents related to those constructions, but the first step we agreed to was to remove all fences to allow public access,” he said.

The special working group to manage and develop the Kingdom’s beaches was established by a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.

The group has been tasked with resolving construction and land issue pertaining to beach access and preservation in Cambodia’s four coastal provinces.

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