TUOL Kork district officials on Thursday told families made homeless by a March 8 fire in Boeung Kak 2 commune that they could move to an alternate relocation site in Dangkor district, after learning that the site originally offered is privately owned, deputy district governor Thim Sam An said.
The Housing Rights Task Force, however, criticised the selection of the new site, saying it lacks infrastructure and is prone to flooding.
Thim Sam An said he had led 60 of the 170 families who have agreed to be relocated on a tour of the new site in Dangkor’s Choam Chao commune on Thursday.
He acknowledged that the area is subject to frequent floods, but said the land would be filled in to address the problem.
All 170 families are to be transferred to the site at the end of the month, and they will be eligible for land titles in five years, he said. He added that he hopes the 68 holdout families will agree to move with them.
“We hope the other 68 families will agree to relocate once these 170 families have moved,” he said.
But some villagers who had previously agreed to move said they, too, would resist relocation after visiting the new site on Thursday.
“We will not move if they have not built infrastructure and filled in the land by the end of month,” villager Phal Phornara said.
Sia Phearum, secretariat director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said the new site is far from ideal.
“The new place is a rice farm. It is commonly flooding. There is no infrastructure, nothing,” he said.
“From previous experience, we don’t think the authorities will build infrastructure before the relocation,” he added.