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Officials defer Boeung Kak eviction plan

Officials defer Boeung Kak eviction plan

CITY Hall has agreed to temporarily delay the eviction of 160 families from the Boeung Kak lakeside after an impromptu meeting with municipal officials on Friday.

Community representative Sai Natreth said that officials promised to push back a Monday eviction deadline and meet to discuss the commercial and housing development planned for the lake.

"They promised that the eviction deadline on Monday would be postponed," she said Sunday, adding that residents would raise concerns about the compensation packages offered by the city.

In a statement dated August 10, city authorities ordered families living in the lakeside's Village 2 and Village 4 to vacate the site by Monday, or face "administrative measures".

It also gave residents three options for compensation: US$8,000 plus a sum of 2 million riels ($484) to cover the cost of dismantling their houses; a flat at a relocation site at Damnak Trayoeng, about 20 kilometres from the city, plus 2 million riels; or new on-site housing with temporary relocation. Sai Natreth said the residents wanted to accept new housing at the lake but did not wish to relocate until the on-site apartments were complete.

A 'middle way'
Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said the government had delayed the eviction in order to find a peaceful solution to the dispute.

"We are trying to find a way to avoid using administrative measures, so we have delayed [the eviction]," he said Sunday, adding that he did not know when the eviction would happen if residents and officials fail to reach an agreement today.

Boeung Kak residents have been slowly leaving the site since last August, when little-known developer Shukaku Inc began filling the lake with sand pumped from the Tonle Sap. Around 4,000 families are ultimately expected to make way for the 133-hectare development.

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