THE governor of Preah Sihanouk province has confirmed that he is planning to destroy 24 flats under construction on Prampi Chain beach following orders given by Prime Minister Hun Sen at Friday’s Council of Ministers meeting.
Spoang Sarath said Sunday that he had ordered officials to start taking measurements of the 3-hectare Sean Heng Investment Company development in order to destroy it.
“We started the process of destroying them step by step, after we received the prime minister’s orders,” he said.
Hun Sen cited concerns about the potential impact of the flats on tourism and the environment as his reasons for ordering their destruction, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said.
The premier also accused the Sean Heng Investment Company of lying to him, saying the flats did not resemble the “cottages” it had proposed constructing, Phay Siphan said.
Company officials could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Chan Chamroeun, Preah Sihanouk provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said he welcomed the destruction of the flats, a move he said would protect the public’s right to enjoy the beach.
“We hope the government will order the destruction of all private buildings that preclude public access to state-owned beaches,” he said.
A construction worker employed by the Sean Heng Investment Company, who gave his name only as Sarim, confirmed on Sunday that the company had set in motion plans to destroy the flats, which he said had been about 80 percent complete. “Now, we have broken about 50 percent of the walls and roofs of the flats,” he said.