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People affected by expressway project demand fair compensation

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
An artist’s rendering of the expressway between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. Ministry of Public Works

Families displaced by the construction of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway have again asked the government for fair compensation so that they can find new homes.

More than 130 families from Kamboul commune – in Phnom Penh’s Kamboul district – affected by Cambodia’s first expressway project are seeking compensation based on current market prices, said Kong Savuth, who owns land affected by the thoroughfare.

Mr Savuth said yesterday that more than 100 families bought land in the area in 2017 only to be told a year later that the land was to be developed into an expressway.

The government recently said those affected by the construction of the expressway will be compensated at $95 per square metre.

“We cannot accept this compensation, because we bought the land at $110 to $120 per square metres,” Mr Savuth said.

“We are poor. Many of us had to borrow from the bank to buy the land. We cannot accept this compensation and want to ask the government for compensation in line with the current market price,” he said.

The victims claim that the value of their land ranges from $170 to $190 per sqm.

Vasim Sorya, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said the inter-ministerial impact committee has been working hard to expedite the resolution.

“Step by step, we are working to compensate for those affected. We have a clear plan,” he said.

Mr Sorya did not provide an answer when asked about the market price of the land.

Construction of the first-ever expressway, linking Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province, started in March. It will stretch 190 kilometres with a width of 24.5 metres. It will have a green median and barriers on both sides to prevent people and animals from passing through.

The project will cost $2 billion, provided by the China Road and Bridge Corporation through Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd.

According to the Ministry of Public Works, it will be finished before 2022.

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