Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Families seek officials’ help in bridge dispute

Families seek officials’ help in bridge dispute

Families seek officials’ help in bridge dispute

Some 130 families in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday requested the intervention of provincial authorities to solve a dispute with their deputy village chief over the construction of a small bridge in their town yesterday.

A petition dated Wednesday from villagers representing the families in Commune 1’s Village 1 accuses Deputy Village Chief Lem Sam Eoun of demanding $100,000 to permit the construction of a 19-metre-long, 4-metre-
wide concrete bridge over a canal, in order to connect local families to the nearby national road.

Villager representative Sun Mom, 57, said that on Monday morning residents began construction on the bridge, for which they pooled money together, when Sam Eoun intervened and threatened them with arrest because he claimed ownership of the land.

Villager Paen Tea said that Sam Eoun had begun building fencing to block construction. Reached yesterday, Sam Eoun admitted to demanding payment and blocking construction because he owned and paid for the road the bridge would connect to, which sat on his land.

He alleged that Sun Mom – not the villagers – had paid for the bridge, as she is a developer who owns land on the other side of the canal from his property.

“She has never negotiated with me and asked to use my road, but secretly she sent the workers to . . . build the bridge on my land with the pretext that the villagers need the bridge, and my road would be used publicly with no payment at all to me, the owner of the land,” he said.

Cham Sokhum, the village chief, said he thinks Sam Eeun should donate his road “for the people’s interest”, seeing as Sun Mom had contributed to building the bridge, which would shorten the route to the national road from three kilometres to just 500 metres.

The chief of Commune 1, Chhit Sophat, said that after two unsuccessful mediation attempts he had no choice but to pass the case to provincial authorities, who could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will