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Resident fears mount over road near tracks

Railway community members protest outside City Hall yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Railway community members protest outside City Hall yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Resident fears mount over road near tracks

About 20 representatives from eight communities set to be affected by the transformation of a disused railway line into a new road petitioned City Hall yesterday asking for a halt to the project.

In December, Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong surprised residents when he announced that the north-bound road would be built without having discussed relocation or compensation with them. The road will replace the old, existing tracks and extend east, then north from the Boeung Kak area to Kilometre 6 in Russey Keo district.

The road was first alluded to in April by Prime Minister Hun Sen on the same day he nixed plans for a multimillion-dollar airport expressway.

Villagers yesterday requested that local authorities provide them with additional details about the project and iron out compensation and relocation issues before proceeding with construction.

“The activity of the road expansion is still continuing. If they don’t give us any reply, we will gather to protest again,” said community representative Khoun Sarin, adding they had given City Hall seven days to respond.

City officials yesterday directed queries to Russey Keo District Governor Chea Pisei, who said he was already collecting data from families who would be affected by the project. “We will find a solution, because we have to beautify the city and reduce traffic,” he said.

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