The National Committee for the Management and Development of Coastal Zones said on Sunday that the government has provided 103 families with land to live on and develop in Preah Sihanouk province.
In a statement, the NCMD said that the land was given to a community that has been in Sihanoukville’s Poy Kampenh area since 2016.
It added that a working team has already conducted a study in the area and has prepared plans for a network of infrastructure in order to serve local development and preserve the area’s environment.
“The building of roads, drainage systems, and the reclamation of beaches in the area will serve the national economy through tourism,” it said. “It is contrary to recent negative news disseminated about the reclamation of the area’s beaches.”
On Wednesday, Soksovann Vatanasabung, president of Khmer Rise Party and a member of the Supreme Consultative Council, inspected the area’s reclamation project and blamed a tycoon for illegally reclaiming coastal areas.
Mr Vatanasabung alleged that a company belonging to tycoon Choeung Sopheap does not have the right to change the scenery. He also alleged that Try Pheap, another tycoon, has been illegally reclaiming another location in the Poy Kampenh area.
Mr Vatanasabung declined to comment on the matter yesterday.
However, he said on Facebook on Sunday that Mr Pheap needs to show legal documents for the development of the Poy Kampenh area.
“Try Pheap, please show the legal documents because the law says no one is supposed to fill coastal areas with stones,” Mr Vatanasabung said. “There’s even a directive that determines what can be developed and what can not.”
Mr Pheap could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Deputy provincial Governor Srun Sroan said yesterday that coastal areas in the province are divided based on the law to determine which parts are public beaches and which parts can be developed to attract tourists.
“We have done everything in accordance with the law. When there is legal permission, we just inspect whether they are developing the area properly or not,” Mr Sroan said. “So this area is already sanctioned by the law.”
In a separate case last week, the government reversed the reclamation of Prek Treng beach over concerns raised on social media that Pheapimex, a company that leads the development, was destroying the beach’s natural scenery.