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Authorities urged to address impact on railway residents

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Residents affected by the road construction project gather near the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall seeking a solution. Khouth Sophak Chakrya

Authorities urged to address impact on railway residents

More than 30 community members living along a railway in Boeung Kak II commune in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district gathered on Thursday to submit a joint letter requesting municipal governor Khuong Sreng to address the impact on their homes from a road and a reservoir project in Tuol Kork 2.

Residents’ representative Meas Sreypheap told The Post that Tuol Kork district authorities issued a notice on August 12 informing them to take down their houses immediately to make way for construction of a new road on the site of the old railway tracks.

A reservoir is also being built to handle floods in the district during the rainy season.

“In the notice, Tuol Kork district authorities gave us one month to take down our houses on a voluntary basis. Otherwise, the authorities will take administrative action by using police and machinery to remove our houses.

“The authorities issued the notice and warned us. But they have yet to address the impacts on us as their deadline is approaching,” she said.

Iev Mach, 60, told The Post on Thursday her house measures 4m X 17m and is affected by the two projects.

She said the new road is 20m-wide and will cover the land she has lived on since 1985.

Tuol Kork district governor Ek Khun Doeun, she said, gave residents two choices in June. He offered 5m-by-12m land plots in Kork Kasach village in Kambol district, Phnom Penh, or the same amount of land in Kouk Roka commune’s Kouk Roka village in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.

He also offered two million riel on top of the land in exchange for the voluntary dismantling of homes in the area.

The residents said they didn’t agree because the locations are far from the capital and the workplaces of their children.

“We requested land to the west of Tuol Santevoan Pagoda or, as residents call it, Wat Tuol. Or land in Tuol Kork district. But Tuol Kork district authorities have not responded to the request,” she said.

A Phnom Penh Municipal Hall official told the residents on Thursday to make a complaint and petition the municipal hall again because an initial joint letter didn’t contain numbers of families affected or a clear solution, Sreypheap said.

She said they are now taking a headcount of affected families for the new petition.

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