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No eviction for residents of abandoned ice factory

No eviction for residents of abandoned ice factory

THE delayed eviction deadline for a group of 18 families living at an abandoned ice factory in Battambang province came and went Saturday with no visit – or word – from officials, villagers said.

Speaking on Sunday, villager Seang Eng, 69, said: “I’m not really sure what will happen. The eviction date came yesterday, but things are quiet here. All I can do is wait and see.”

Authorities had postponed the original eviction date, set for Thursday, by two days.

Neither the department nor Battambang Governor Prach Chan could be reached for comment Sunday.

Resident Tiv Kim Huar, 52, said she was concerned about what might happen to her family if and when the eviction goes ahead. “I don’t know what to do without my home,” she said. “I have many children: five sons and one daughter. It’s unfair to take our home and make us homeless.”

The families say they have been living on the 2-hectare plot of land since 1979, but in October they received a letter from the Department of Industry, Mines and Energy informing them that they were living on state-owned land and had three months to move. “We sent back a letter a week later to the department, as well as the provincial town, asking for homes to live in,” said 41-year-old widow Deap Chenda, who lives on the factory’s grounds with her two sons. “I heard that a Korean firm wants to reopen the factory for clean water production.”

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