The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration on Monday met 10 out of 14 owners of recently-constructed buildings that were deemed unsafe and to warn that it would take legal action if they refused to demolish them.
The administration previously issued three demolition orders to the 14 owners, but only four of them have torn down their buildings.
Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Wednesday that: “The remaining 10 [buildings] have not been removed, so we called the owners in on Monday to have them remove them immediately.
“We have also warned them that we will take action if they do not tear them down. We will take legal action, and enforce the court’s verdict. The owners will face further penalties.
“The provincial administration is resolute in its stance that no one should obstruct [the legal process]. These buildings – which are in violation of technical standards – must be removed,” said Phearum.
The meeting was attended by Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction secretary of state Lao Tip Seiha, who is also chairman of the newly-formed Construction Quality Inspection Committee, and Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun.
“Owners of the construction projects . . . don’t bother seeking further recourse. If you don’t tear them down, the authorities will take legal action,” Tip Seiha said.
Chamroeun said that following the demolition, the authorities and experts would assist the owners with designing new buildings, the technical work and the proper licences for a speedy reconstruction.
On August 27, at least 14 buildings in the province were ordered to be dismantled due to poor quality, while another 70 are currently undergoing technical examinations. These are among the 500 buildings that experts inspected following the fatal collapse in June which killed 28 and injured 26 people.
Cambodian National Research Organisation director Sok Sokhom welcomed the authority’s actions.
“Legal actions must be taken against poor-quality constructions. If the owners don’t dismantle them, they can cause problems,” he said.