MEMBERS of more than 100 families in Russey Keo district that are set to be evicted to make way for a public park have thumbprinted a petition to express their outrage over the project.
Huot Danin, a representative of the families in Klaing Saing village, located in Russey Keo commune, said the petition would be sent to Prime Minister Hun Sen this week.
He said the families had been spurred to protest their pending eviction after Russey Keo commune officials instructed them on Friday to tear down their homes, distributing a notice dated August 23 and signed by Russey Keo district governor Khlaing Huot. The notice states that the families have 10 days from the date of the notice to comply with the eviction order, meaning they face a deadline of September 2.
“The commune ordered us to pull down our homes from 10 days after the day the announcement was signed to make way for the public garden, but they did not tell us where we can live after we pull down our homes,” Huot Danin said.
Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema announced the pending eviction, which local officials have said would affect at least 800 families in three Russey Keo villages, during a speech on August 10.
At the same event, Heu Heng, director of Sokimex Company, said the park would be roughly 250 metres long and 100 metres wide. He said that Sokimex, which has a petroleum depot on National Road 5 near the proposed park, is providing US$700,000 to support the project.
Chan Samang, the chief of Russey Keo commune, said she knew that some families were unhappy with the proposed project, but that most were not displeased.
“All the development always has some effects on some people, but this project will also provide many interests to many people in the affected communities,” she said.
No information regarding relocation or compensation plans has yet been provided.