Twenty-two Boeung Kak families, who had actively protested in the past, were elated when they received official land titles yesterday while other residents who have yet to receive them pushed City Hall for a hasty resolution.
The families, from Village 22 in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune, were given their new land titles by City Hall vice governor Mean Chanyada.
He said the Boeung Kak issue was complex, but added that the provision of land titles at this time was good for residents who could now safely occupy the land while being protected by the law.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the people who have recently received land titles,” he said. “Please keep it safe. They must keep in mind that it is an asset of their families and avoid any loss.”
Chan Puthisak, who obtained his land title yesterday, expressed satisfaction and said the provision of legitimate ownership for Boeung Kak residents showed that authorities acted responsibly.
“This land title is the balance of our property and confirms that the land belongs to us,” he said.
However, Mr Puthisak also requested that City Hall continue working with the remaining residents in 22 and Mouy villages so they could also obtain legal land titles.
Phan Chhunreth, another resident of Village 22 who has yet to find a solution, expressed happiness for the families receiving land titles while hoping City Hall would soon find a resolution for the others.
“City Hall, please expedite a resolution for us so we can get land titles like those residents,” she said.
Ms Chhunreth said they have yet to find a solution because city authorities accused them of building their houses on state land. She denied the accusation, claiming she has occupied the land for many years.
In August, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Phnom Penh municipal governor to speed up the process to end the land dispute at Boeung Kak lake.
Boeung Kak land disputes have been ongoing since 2007 after the government signed a 99-year lease at a throwaway price of $79 million for more than 100 hectares of Beoung Kak land, affecting more than 4,000 families.