The Apsara Authority and Siem Reap provincial officials have demolished 49 homes out of 520 slated for removal within the Angkor Archaeological Park since Thursday, officials said yesterday.
According to authority spokesman Long Kosal, the homes were mostly built during the 2017 commune elections season, with contractors “taking advantage” of the uncertainty to push schemes on clients.
“Apsara Authority usually sends its officials to explain [to the contractors] regularly, but they did not listen and neither did [the home buyers], who also believed in the lies of constructors,” he said.
Read more: ‘Illegal’ Angkor homes dismantled in Siem Reap
According to Kosal the removals are starting in Prasat Bakong, Angkor Thom and Siem Reap districts, and will then proceed to Puok and Banteay Srei districts. Homes dating back to the 1980s, he said, will be unaffected.
However, some locals say small homes are being unfairly targeted.
“How about the hotel and huge housing compound that are in my area as well?” said Pich Sruoch, a villager in Nokor Thom commune whose home was destroyed.