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ING land revoked after failures

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Two men collect water hyacinth for disposal along Choeung Ek lake yesterday. KT/Pann Rachana

The government has decided to revoke five land titles given to tycoon Ing Bun Hoaw after his company, ING Holdings, failed to develop infrastructure along Boeng Choeung Ek lake and erect a satellite city in Phnom Penh and Kandal province’s Takhmao city.

The Council of Ministers issued a decision to revoke the titles, issued in 2011, on May 21.

In it, the council said ING Holding did not develop infrastructure along Phnom Penh’s Choeung Ek lake and in Kandal province’s Takhmao city as promised.

“The Royal Government has decided to nullify the ownership of five land titles belonging to ING Holding company,” Chhit Sokhom, the council’s secretary of state, said in the directive.

Morning glory farmers row their boats along Boeng Choeung Ek lake yesterday. KT/Pann Rachana

The new satellite city development by ING Holding reportedly covered more than 2,500 hectares of land in the Boeng Tompun and Choeung Ek wetlands, of which 520 hectares were reservoirs. The satellite city was to be divided into four areas: commercial, industrial, residential and administrative areas.

Renderings of the project on the website of ING Holdings showed the expansive Boeng Choeung Ek lake replaced by government office buildings, retirement homes for Chinese nationals, factory outlets and an amusement park.

Last year, nearly 400 families in Prek Takong I village won a five-year battle to regain control of land earmarked for the new satellite city by ING Holding after gathering in protest multiple times in front of the Ministry of Land Management and City Hall.

Mr Bun Hoaw, general director of ING Holding, declined to comment yesterday.

Ek Tha, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said he would look into the matter.

“I can only confirm that the letter [directive] is true,” Mr Tha said.

Eang Vuthy, executive director of Equitable Cambodia, yesterday said he welcomed the revocation of the land titles because the decision to give the company land impacted public interest.

“It’s a good thing if the nullification of land ownership’s related to the interest of the people and the public,” Mr Vuthy said, noting that it left some people displaced. “The problems of some families have been resolved by a decision to exclude their land from the development project, while other families remain to wait for a solution.”

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