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Canal work worries capital residents

People sit at the Ministry of Land Management yesterday as they wait to meet with the Phnom Penh municipal governor.
People sit at the Ministry of Land Management yesterday as they wait to meet with the Phnom Penh municipal governor. Hong Menea

Canal work worries capital residents

Some 60 families visited the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction and the Phnom Penh municipal governor yesterday to demand information on the Stung Meanchey canal’s expansion, which they fear might force them to relocate.

The families said they sent a letter to officials on April 23, but had not received a response.

“We came to the ministry because we want to know what’s going on with our letter,” said So Chanthorn, 27, a Meanchey village community representative. “We want them to show us the development plan; now they tell us they will contact us next week to inform us when the meeting will be.”

More than 400 families are estimated to live near the 1,470-metre-long canal.

“We don’t want to be relocated; we want to stay here because we see people who were relocated and they have seen difficulties,” Chanthorn said.

Meanchey District Governor Pich Keo Mony said officials planned to make the canal wider as part of a renovation to allow for better water flow in order to avoid flooding in the district, and Phnom Penh in general. But the project had not started yet, he added.

Keo Mony said if there was space available after widening the canal, a new building would be built for the displaced families. But if there was not enough land after the expansion, the families would be relocated to an as-yet-unidentified new area.

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