Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Along Siem Reap River, families to be relocated

Along Siem Reap River, families to be relocated

Along Siem Reap River, families to be relocated

Siem Reap
HUNDREDS of families living in homes perched precariously on the banks of the Siem Reap River in Siem Reap town are to be relocated in a bid to “beautify” the town, officials said on Monday.

Provincial officials have concluded a survey of families living along a 2-kilometre stretch of the riverbank in preparation to move them to a relocation site between 30 and 40 kilometres away in Banteay Srey district.

Tep Bunchhay, the governor of Siem Reap town, said: “We will construct parks and enlarge roads along the river to make the town more beautiful.” The river water has been too dirty for people to swim in safely since about 1996, he added.

The exact date of the eviction and the amount of land each family will be offered at the relocation site has yet to be determined, Tep Bunchhay said.

But he made it clear that no money will be offered to the villagers if they reject the social land concession.

One resident, 53-year-old Heang Sophal, confirmed that a group of about 10 officials had measured his house, taken a photo and enquired about the size of his family, but said they had not explained why they were doing so.

“We’ve been hearing for a long time that officials plan to relocate the people here, but we never saw any real action,” he said.

“We are willing to move away from here, but we need money. I can leave if the authorities give me US$2,000 to buy a small plot of land on the outskirts of town. No one wants to live in the forest.”

Um Chantha, 40, has lived on the riverbank for 14 years. Officials measured her home last week and told her to prepare herself to move.

“What makes me most worried is that my kids will lose their schools,” she said, expressing concern about how moving to a location far from the town would affect her income. Fellow vendor Ly Yi, 43, said she was fearful of being moved to a rural location, but said, “It is unavoidable because the authorities need to develop the town.”

The results of the survey are due to be released this week.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group