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City Hall pledges land titles for Chroy Changvar locals

Villagers protest against the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation earlier this year in Chroy Changvar district.
Villagers protest against the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation earlier this year in Chroy Changvar district. Pha Lina

City Hall pledges land titles for Chroy Changvar locals

City Hall said yesterday it would form a working group to accelerate land titling for villagers on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula, but only for those who were not affected by a huge development project.

Speaking after a meeting between Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong and the development group Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC), Sarin Vanna, the director of the Phnom Penh Land Management Department, said 280 hectares of the 450 hectares of state-owned land on the peninsula was for OCIC. He said the new working group would look to fast-track the disbursement of land titles to villagers on the remaining 170 hectares.

Villagers on the project site, however, must either accept the compensation offered by OCIC – $15 per square metre – or give up 90 per cent of their land.

Villagers on Chroy Changvar have repeatedly protested the development, and the decision left some unhappy yesterday.

Chea Sophat, a community rep from Phum Kor village, complained he wouldn’t get a title despite owning his land.

“They haven’t counted us and consider us as outsiders,” Sophat said. “They pressure us – they seem to be using a Pol Pot-like policy.”

OCIC staffer Touch Samnang said the as-yet uncompensated families bought the land knowing it was state-owned.

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