In January, a community working group from the Apsara National Authority (ANA) examined 212 requests for house repairs, renovations and small construction in five districts and towns inside and outside the Angkor Archaeological Park. The authority granted 144 requests.
In its February 1 report, the ANA said 14 requests for repairs were approved in Prasat Bakong district, 12 in Angkor Thom and 32 in Puok. A total of 58 repairs would be carried out in Siem Reap town and 28 in Banteay Srei districts.
“In addition, the community working group carried out humanitarian work and provided budgetary support for needy families. The group took part in religious activities and other programmes in the community, as well as met with people to address issues in the 112 villages in the Angkor Park,” the report said.
It added that the working group would continue to educate the people to better understand the ANA’s role and responsibilities, land use in the protected areas of Angkor and how to apply for repairs and construction of houses in the park efficiently.
ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on February 1 that every request from the residents had been reviewed by the working group, which had approved many applications for construction. Some requests had been rejected as they were found to be irregular or beyond the limits of the group’s powers.
“We rejected those requests that did not meet our requirements or if the size of the request was beyond the working group’s ability to make decisions. We will find other solutions for them to improve their lives and maintain their Khmer-style identities,” he added.
He said that when requests were declined, the applicants did not object or protest the decisions, but followed the working group’s instructions and explanations.
Kosal added that all construction, repairs or renovations in the Angkor Park had to be approved by the ANA in order to ensure that the work would maintain the style of the Khmer identity in terms of size and aesthetics.