The Apsara National Authority (ANA) approved requests for small-scale renovation to 601 families within the Angkor Archaeological Park and provided architectural plans for another 50 families in April.
ANA spokesman Long Kosal said on May 9 that the ANA’s Department of Land and Habitat Management in Angkor Park had assessed the sites and approved the renovation of homes and other small structures.
He added that requests were assessed from 196 families in Siem Reap town, 121 in Banteay Srei district, 141 in Prasat Bakong district, 115 in Pouk district, six in Sotnikum district and 22 in Svay Leu district.
“Permission for small construction and renovation work included the dismantling of windows, repairs to chicken coops, duck cages, pig cages, and kitchens and bathroom renovations …,” he said.
Kosal said that in the same period, the department’s architectural team helped approve larger work for 50 families – five in Angkor Thom district, seven in Siem Reap town, 17 in Prasat Bakong district, 13 in Puok district, six in Banteay Srei district, and two in Svay Leu district.
“Those 50 families now have permission to carry out work on a larger scale, such as the demolition of older homes or the construction of new ones,” he added.
In a press release, the ANA said it had thoroughly reviewed the requests and tried to process them free of charge and as quickly as possible.
ANA teams, it noted, still faced some challenges such as repairs or construction that was carried out before the assessments were complete, while announcements of land for sale in protected areas still took place occasionally.
Kosal called on people who continued to try to get away with such activities to stop, and participate in the preservation of the important cultural asset in the Angkor Park.
“One difficulty we have is that some people who bought land in the past are attempting to sell it. We call on our people to participate in conserving the area. If they want to dismantle homes or construct anything in the Angkor area, please contact the ANA,” he said.
Kosal said the next goal of the ANA’s community working group would be to educate the public so they better understand the ANA’s role and responsibilities when it comes to land use in the protected area of Angkor Park and the procedure for applying for home renovations and construction there.
He warned that in the past the ANA had also implemented serious measures, and that it would not attempt to educate serial offenders forever.