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Homes dismantled near lakeside

Homes dismantled near lakeside

Men demolish homes yesterday in Village 3 of Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune, near Boeung Kak lake. Photo by: Pha Lina

SIX families in Daun Penh district’s Village 3, near the Boeung Kak lakeside, dismantled their homes yesterday to make way for a road project that will connect to Russian Boulevard.

The families had been offered US$10,000 in compensation from City Hall to tear down their homes, with $5,000 withheld until they completed the dismantling.

An additional resident, 65-year-old Thong Yun, said she was in the process of having her home dismantled as well.

Another 12 families in Village 3, however, have yet to agree to the city’s compensation package and have been agitating for more money. A deadline has not yet been set for their relocation

Thong Yun said that although she had accepted the compensation from City Hall, it was not enough for her to buy a replacement property.

“The state needs the land to build the road, so I agreed to the offer of $10,000, although that amount of money is not enough to buy a new flat in Phnom Penh,” she said, adding that she would instead rent a home in Sen Sok district’s Toek Thla commune for $1,500 per year.

But Ao Si Heang, 57, said she could not accept the current compensation offer.

“$10,000 seems like a lot for a poor widow, but it is not enough to buy a new home in Phnom Penh,” she said.

Chun Vanna, another Village 3 resident, agreed.

“I do not need much compensation – just enough to buy a new home in Phnom Penh,” she said.

The new road is set to pass through the Boeung Kak lake development area and link up with Russian Blvd north of the Ministry of Defence.

Rights groups say over 4,000 families will ultimately be displaced by the Boeung Kak development. Roughly 2,000 families have already agreed to vacate their homes, having been offered compensation of $8,500 or two million riel ($495) and flats in Dangkor district.

City Hall set a deadline earlier this month for the remaining 2,000 or so families to vacate their homes, though this deadline ultimately passed without incident.