Residents of Boeung Kak lakeside yesterday expressed disappointment after a meeting between representatives of villagers and Phnom Penh municipal governor Kep Chuktema failed when the governor refused to approve the residents’ alternative development plan.
Village representatives released an alternative development plan to the controversial Boeung Kak lake development project nearly one month ago, requesting that 15 hectares of land be set aside for families threatened with eviction.
Mey Sina, a resident of Village 24, said yesterday that village representative Ly Mom had told around 100 villagers gathered in Village 24 that Kep Chuktema had said there would be no further meetings about the request.
Ly Mom also told villagers that Kep Chuktema had objected to their request because “small house owners cannot have a house 4mx16m at the ground floor” and said that protestors have houses on the land and “the compensation of US$8,000 and 2 million riel [$500] is for those who have houses on the water [but] the compensation [for] land houses remains unlimited”.
Sie Phearom, president of the Housing Rights Task Force, said that the villagers should be happy because they can receive extra compensation.
In 2007, Kep Chuktema signed a 99-year lease for developer Shukaku Inc, owned by ruling party senator Lao Meng Khin, and Chinese firm Erdus Hong Jun Property Development Co to develop a $79 million commercial and residential project on 133 hectares of land around the Boeung Kak lakeside.
Rights groups estimate that the development will lead to the eviction of 4,000 families.