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Parties urged to resolve dispute over construction disturbance

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More than 20 residents of Phnom Penh’s Tonle Basaac commune sued a chinese firm alleging that its construction activity has adversely affected them. Photo supplied

Parties urged to resolve dispute over construction disturbance

After a complaint from 20 families in mid-November, Chamkarmon district authorities on Wednesday called on parties involved in a construction dispute to find a solution.

The 20 families had filed a complaint with the authorities against Company China Construction, which was legally authorised to build a 52-storey building in Chamkarmon district’s Tonle Bassac commune in Phnom Penh.

The company was accused of affecting properties surrounding the construction site and causing fear in their daily lives.

In the complaint, the families said: “The company’s construction site is near our houses and the building activities [badly affected] our houses and caused our walls to cave in.

“The noise from the site also disturbed us for 24 hours. Stone rubbles and fire sparks scattered into our houses. Cement mixture fell onto the roofs of our houses.

“We are worried about our safety and daily lives because the crane [used to lift] construction materials regularly revolve above the roof of our houses.”

Chamkarmon district governor Theng Sothol told The Post that the district authorities had paid attention and arrived at the construction site before the residents filed their complaint.

“According to the complaint and its impact on the residents’ lives, the authorities summoned the construction site owner and the plaintiffs to meet at the district hall on Tuesday to find a solution.

“They have not yet agreed [to a solution] because the company requested us to find an independent technician to assess the state of residents’ houses.

“We also went to locations at the site to investigate why stones were falling,” Sothol said on Wednesday.

Sothol said investigations confirmed that the issue was caused by the construction site. The company would be subject to fines and has to compensate the affected residents. Also, the company had changed technical standards and would be facing legal action for this.

“But, I can’t tell when the specialists will finish investigating this issue. The meeting is a good step towards finding a solution that is acceptable by both parties,” Sothol said.

The company owner could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Tonle Bassac commune chief Khat Narith told The Post on Wednesday that as planned, the company is constructing a 52-storey building with legal authorisation.

He said that having affected the residents, the company had come forward to take responsibility for the badly damaged houses of four families, while houses of other residents had not been seriously affected.

“When the company started piling the foundation, four families were affected. Normally when piling is done, some muddy stones will scatter. But, the company addressed [the issue], allowing the residents to go to other places [when construction is under way],” Narith said.

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