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Families foresee rocky road ahead

Families foresee rocky road ahead

Fourteen Phnom Penh families claimed yesterday that government maps showing their houses in the path of a road-widening project were inaccurate and would condemn them to eviction without adequate compensation.

Ek Malin, 57, a represent-ative of the community on Street 347 in Tuol Kork dist-rict’s Boeung Kak I commune, said Om Bunly, director of the Tuol Kork land office, had distributed a map that showed their houses in the middle of the road, supposedly already blocking traffic and planned development.

“I think the sample is not correct and does not represent the place we live in,” she said.

Families have been haun-ted by the threat of eviction since 2007, when authorities announced plans to widen Street 347 by 30 metres.

Twenty families remain on the site after 80 families agreed in 2011 - amid much resistance - to pull down their homes and relocate to Kandal province.

“As you can, Street 347 is 10 metres wide,” Malin added. “Trucks are running on it. Our houses do not affect traffic along here.”

Fellow villager representat-ive Pov Phanha said the authorities’ latest map contained other inaccurate information.

“This drawing is used to confuse people into thinking the wrong thing about my community,” he said.

“People will think we are living on the street . . . and we will be evicted without fair compensation.”

A Ministry of Economy and Finance map released in May, 2011 valued the land at $500 to $750 a square metre, Phanha said, adding that the cash compensation offer was therefore equivalent to no more than one square metre.

“I’m asking the Ministry of Land Management to send experts to this area to review these reports and plans and find justice for us,” he said.

Bunly declined to comment.

Since the road-widening plans were announced in 2007, residents have tried to take legal action against the ministries.

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