Another building is rapidly rising on the plot of land reserved for the tenth and last building promised to evicted Borei Keila residents.
Behind 100 protesting evictees, construction workers continued pounding away yesterday at a steel structure that started coming up last week, along with a ninth building that appeared two weeks ago.
A Phan Imex representative had previously told the Post that the ninth building was not meant for evicted residents.
Sorn Srey Touch, 41, said she had been visiting the district hall regularly over the past five years in hopes that authorities would tell her it was her time to claim a flat.
The company, which claimed it could not build the final two buildings in 2010 due to bankruptcy, now seemed able to erect them for the 400 families that had been left in limbo, she said.
“If they don’t build it for me, is it constructed to sell?” she said.
In 2003, Phan Imex Company signed an agreement with the government to construct 10 buildings on two hectares of land to house 1,776 families, in exchange for the rights to a remaining 2.6 hectares.
Evictees yesterday protested a letter that Phnom Penh municipal governor Kep Chutema had sent to the deputy prime minister and council of ministers on February 21.
The letter, a copy of which has been obtained by the Post, claimed the 30 women and children detained in Prey Speu social affairs centre last month had been “invited” by authorities to live there and receive vocational skills training, and that their escape had been instigated by the opposition party and civil society organisations.
“This statement lacks facts and accountability,” chanted the crowd of villagers.
Spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party Yim Sovann said the governor had mistaken his facts.
“The people were illegally detained. They understood their rights and left of their own accord,” he said.
Protestors lined the pavement next to the two buildings under construction before occupying an adjacent road for an hour.
Phan Imex owner Suy Sophan could not be reached for comment yesterday.