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Railway residents want to talk payments

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Railway community members gather outside Phnom Penh's City Hall yesterday. Hong Menea

Railway residents want to talk payments

More than two weeks after petitioning Phnom Penh authorities to halt a project to transform a disused railway line into a road, 50 to 60 affected villagers yesterday returned to City Hall seeking an audience with City Governor Pa Socheatvong to discuss compensation.

Last month, Socheatvong announced the north-bound road would be built without discussing plans for relocation or compensation for families forced to move. The road will replace the old, existing tracks and extend from the Boeung Kak area to Kilometre 6 in Russey Keo district.

Five of the villagers were allowed to meet with administrative officials yesterday. One of the five, Tuol Sangke B community representative Long Chandy, said villagers were concerned of losing their homes.

“We came here to ask [Socheatvong] about the resolution,” he said.

City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey said construction would not begin without paying compensation, but officials have not yet received data on families that will be affected. Only after that would compensation negotiations begin, he added.

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