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More illegal buildings to be demolished in Sihanoukville

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Sihanoukville authorities destroy an illegally built house. KPS

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall is warning residents the authorities will begin demolishing  nearly 30 illegally built houses along canals and sidewalks in Sihanoukville’s Buon commune after Provincial Governor Kuoch Chamroeun ordered them to do so this week.

“Provincial authorities have sent a letter to 29 families living along the canal or public sidewalks to vacate their homes by Friday so dismantling can begin,” Mr Phearom said. “After the deadline, the authorities will go ahead with the demolishment.”

Mr Chamroeun in his letter sent last week said the homes were found to be illegal by a working group tasked with identifying them in Buon commune on November 22.

“Your houses being built on banks and public sidewalks affect the drainage system and road construction projects in Sihanoukville,” he said. “All 29 families are required to remove your houses by January 23, 2020, to avoid future floods during heavy rain.”

“If you do not do so voluntarily, Provincial Hall will not be responsible for damage and loss of property,” Mr Chamroeun added.

Floods in the middle of last year inundated parts of Sihanoukville and the province’s Prey Nop district. Two people died and several homes were damaged.

Provincial Hall in August announced it will repair and expand canals in Sihanoukville to alleviate damage caused by the floods.

Prime Minister Hun Sen in November announced the government will spend $170 million to also tackle waste disposal problems in Sihanoukville, adding China donated $600 million for the same purpose.

Representatives of the 29 families to be removed from their homes could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Sihanoukville Governor Y Sok Leng said yesterday the problem of illegal houses is not only prevalent in Buon commune.

Mr Sok Leng said provincial authorities should also demolish illegal structures in other communes in the city.

He said the authorities will not provide compensation to those who would lose their homes because their houses were illegal in the first place. “We care about the public [as a whole],” Mr Sok Leng said.

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