Newly appointed Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (MLMUPC), Chea Sophara, has wasted no time wielding his power, ordering the demolition of a NagaWorld structure that was purportedly spilling onto public land.
Sophara, who has only been in the top job since April 5, accused the NagaWorld hotel and casino in Phnom Penh of flouting proper building protocol.
“Naga construction is getting more arrogant,” he said via his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“The moment the construction spills onto the street, it will be demolished to teach them a lesson.”
Attending the construction launch of The Peak condominium development on Tuesday, Sophara warned that if construction violates standards, companies would pay the consequences.
Sophara asked, “Why do the foreign developers abide by the law when they are constructing in other countries? Why are they so indifferent to it when in Cambodia? From this day forth, as a senior minister of the MLMUPC, I will work as efficiently as possible to prevent those developments from technical errors or violating the standard procedures,” he said.
He added that if he receives a construction development that is perceived to be technically incorrect, he would throw those requests away.
In the wake of the warning, Phnom Penh’s governor Pa Socheatvong went to inspect NagaWorld’s construction, ordering the metal framework that is encroaching on the public road to be knocked down.
Chen Bunthoern, City Hall spokesman, added that the governor had also sent a letter to NagaWorld’s management team addressing the construction issues.
As a result of Socheatvong’s letter and ministerial crackdown, NagaWorld has been ordered to dismantle the porch canopy that is occupying public space, and reconstruct the pathway in front of NagaWorld that has spilled over onto the public road.
Bunthoern confirmed that all of NagaWorld’s construction activity on public land has now ceased. NagaWorld declined to comment on the construction orders yesterday.