Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kandal authorities deny land grab claims

Kandal authorities deny land grab claims

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A plot of land in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district was claimed. Supplied

Kandal authorities deny land grab claims

Authorities in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district on Monday denied the claims of some 30 families in Roka Khpos commune that there are plans to confiscate their land to construct a wastewater treatment facility, saying that long-term local residents no longer own land in the area.

District governor Nhim Vandin said on Monday that authorities are studying the impact on local people with a Korean firm that intends to build a water treatment facility for waste flowing out of Takhmao town.

The facility needs some 50ha of land but the authorities do not have sufficient land for the scheme, so they are requesting that residents who are affected allocate their plots to allow the work to commence.

“The majority of people are participating with us and the Korean firm and we are working together without any problems,” Vandin said.

Roka Khpos commune chief Chhoeung Chhou said the scheme would not impact local residents, but it could affect traders who had come from outside the area to buy land.

He said he was unaware of the exact number of such outside buyers but said the authorities did not plan to confiscate their land either.

Var Kimse, the chief of Roka Khpos commune’s Prek Khsev village, said commune and district chiefs had met with residents to discuss the matter on Friday, but no final agreement had been reached.

He said Boeung Reang Lake is a former fishing ground that had been shut down by the government a few years ago, but the land there does not belong to any individuals.

“For the water treatment scheme, the authorities are only planning to take land belonging to the state. There is no impact on local residents’ land."

“Some people’s situation is difficult to understand because some of them have sold land two or three times but still claim it belongs to them. So what complaints will be filed, I am not sure,” Kimse said.

The Post could not reach the 30 families’ representative on Monday but local media outlet Swift News said: “Many families who are legally entitled to land in Roka Khpos commune said the provincial authorities are confiscating their land to use for a wastewater facility.

“They said tens of thousands of hectares of state land in the province have fallen into the hands of private traders.”

Swift News said the authorities have been trying to take the residents’ land by bringing the people together on several occasions and forcing them to hand over their plots without any compensation.

“The residents said they are not willing to donate their land at the request of the provincial authority if they are not properly compensated,” Swift News continued.

Sorn Sophat, who lives in Roka Khpos commune’s Samrong village, told The Post that he used to have land there, but he sold it to a trader in 2016 and he was not affected by the water treatment scheme.

He claimed that perhaps the protesters were traders who had bought the land from people around Boeung Reang Lake and that the residents in the area were not the ones protesting.

“Our residents sold the land. There are no protestors. Maybe it’s only traders from outside the area who are upset,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon