The Grassroots Democratic Party yesterday submitted a petition to National Assembly President Heng Samrin to seek clarification from the government over the partial reclamation of Boeng Tamouk lake.
In 2016, the government issued a sub-decree designating the 3,239-hectare Boeng Tamouk lake in Phnom Penh as preserved land.
In August last year, the Council of Ministers issued a letter to City Hall stating that 20 hectares will be developed to build a vegetable market complete with parking space.
Speaking to reporters after the petition was filed, GDP president Yeng Virak said Boeng Tamouk lake plays a vital role in the city’s beauty and welfare. He said that the GDP wants the government to reveal all of its plans for Boeng Tamouk.
“Our party wants the government to disclose its development master plan for Boeng Tamouk lake,” Mr Virak said. “We want the government to guarantee that the development results in no harm, and that the lake will be preserved.”
“We hope that National Assembly President Heng Samrin would intervene and make sure that the government does not over-claim parts of the lake,” he added.
National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long yesterday said parliament received the petition and that its members will look into it.
“The petition has been forwarded to the Assembly’s Commission on Human Rights, Complaints and Investigation,” Mr Peng Long said. “I think a team is now studying the petition. For now, I can’t tell you what action is to be taken.”
City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey yesterday said authorities will not reclaim beyond 20 hectares, noting that it was City Hall that requested the reclamation project from the government.
“It was Mr Virak’s right to be concerned about this,” Mr Meas Pheakdey said. “However, authorities had earlier clarified about the project and said that development will [only] allow for the market.”
Boeng Tamouk, also known as Tumnup Kobsrov, is about 15 kilometres away from the city centre. It is one of the last lakes in Phnom Penh relatively unaffected by development, according to NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
It is speculated that the authorities will move vegetable vendors who sell on Monireth Boulevard at Phsar Doeum Kor to the planned market. The vendors will no longer be allowed to sell on the streets.
Last month, Prek Pnov district authorities began evicting families living illegally around the lake.
Sim Sophang, district administrative chief, said the families will not receive any compensation because they had no right to live there in the first place.