A protest against city hall’s decision to clear residents’ land for a new road on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula without paying compensation yesterday entered its second day.
About 100 protesters forced bulldozers to temporarily stop work on the road – being built about 100 metres west of National Road 6A – by setting tyres alight in their path.
The demonstration followed similar efforts by several families on Monday.
The residents from the Kean Klang and Prek Leap communities are also embroiled in a long-running land dispute with the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, whose billion-dollar satellite city will sit on the new road.
Community representative Chea Sophat said villagers support the road but wanted adequate compensation for their lost land.
Pos Chamroeun, whose plot was partially bulldozed, said she wanted compensation for losing her crops. “We’re happy and support the development project if the development is transparent and equal,” she said.
However, Chroy Changvar District Governor Klang Huot said the authorities had no budget to compensate families that only lost land and could only pay those whose houses were affected.
Sia Phearum, director of NGO the Housing Rights Task Force, said Cambodia’s constitution and expropriation law obliged authorities to pay compensation if public projects infringed on residents’ private property. Most of those impacted on Chroy Changvar had documentation attesting to their ownership, he said.