The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has given people who have carried out illegal construction along Road 701-9 and roads located in Villages 1, 2 and 3, of commune 1 in Sihanoukville seven days to dismantle their structures. The administration explained that infrastructure upgrades are scheduled for the area.

The announcement, dated April 21, was signed by provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun.

“The provincial administration will begin repairing and widening roads, and installing a drainage network at these locations. The work that will be carried out is in accordance with the master plan and technical standards of the implementation of the 2023 provincial development project,” it said.

“We are aware that a number of people have built houses, stalls, balconies or fences which encroach on state land, as designated by the provincial Department of Land Management, Urban Planning, Construction and Cadastre Affairs,” it added.

The provincial governor instructed the town governor and the directors of the pertinent departments and units to work together to prepare underground fiber optic cables, water pipes, and power lines.

“In order to do so as efficiently as possible, they should alert their development partners and collaborate to ensure that inspections are carried out to assess the impact of the projects,” he added.

Cheap Sotheary, a coordinator at rights group ADHOC, said she had not received details of the project but would visit the location to assess the impact the work would have on the public.

Preah Sihanouk deputy governor Long Dimanche said the administration had issued the notice to ensure that the public were aware of what the administration’s plans were. He said it remained unclear as to how many families might be affected.

“We will know how many people will be affected by the order once our team has conducted a thorough assessment of both sides of the road. The inspection will be carried out in the near future,” he said.