More than 200 families in Chamkar Samrong commune, Battambang town, called on the authorities on Wednesday to take immediate action against the owner of a construction project whom they accused of building a fence on a public road.
Nak Chanthorn, a representative of the families told The Post that Lim Tear Leng, the owner of the construction project, Khmer-Chinese Lean Hour School, is impeding on the public road that was recently widened.
Chanthorn said Tear Leng’s workers are digging up their “beloved” public street.
Before the expansion, the street was only 5m wide, but authorities had widened it by an additional 3m on both sides to ease traffic for residents and reduce congestion in Battambang town too. Now they claim that Tear Leng is ruining that accomplishment.
“We are very happy and appreciative of this achievement. Therefore, our people are protesting against Lim Tear Leng, the owner of the school building construction, who has built a fence and invaded the street.
“We have requested the authorities to act on the case urgently for the benefit of the public,” he said.
Battambang provincial governor Pheng Sethy sent officials on Wednesday to investigate the location.
He said the authorities had advised the project owner to temporary suspend construction of the fence that residents claimed impeded on a public street.
Battambang provincial office for Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction head Sok Kinna who led the inspection of the site, told The Post that, according to the actual inspection, Tear Leng’s fence is on the street.
But according to the legal documents that Tear Leng presented to authorities, the fence poles were on his private land only.
“We’ve already checked and the site where he was digging the fence was on his private property, but he had previously donated it for a public street without having anything in writing.
“Therefore, only the municipal and provincial authorities can solve the problem,” she said.
Tear Leng denied the allegations that he had dug a fence on a public street. He told The Post that at first, the street was only 5m and he had asked the villagers living along it to donate their land to widen the street, but they refused.
After that, he decided to buy the land to expand the street for his school construction site.
“I did not build a fence on the street. I measured my land and only built the fence on my land.
“The people living behind me have a lot of money. If the street is narrow they can expand the street. The people who accuse me of building on a public street are those who hadn’t donated their land to expand this street,” he said.