7NG Starts Bus Service for Evicted Villagers

In an attempt to address complaints from relocated Dey Kra-horm villagers, 7NG­—the private firm set to develop the recently cleared Dey Krahorm site—has set up a bus service to take villagers from the relocation site in remote Dangkao district to Doeukor market in Toul Kok district, 7NG officials said Wednesday.

The bus service started last week but was postponed during Chinese New Year and will resume today, 7NG adviser Srey Sothea said in a Wednesday telephone interview. The service will cost $1 per trip and there will be 14 scheduled round-trips every day, he added.

The bus service will be a cheaper option compared to individual mo-tor taxis, Srey Sothea said, and he denied the company was out to make money off the relocated.

“I never think about making much profit from this service. I just want to help people as well as former [Dey Krahorm community residents] to get cheaper transportation,” he said.

The remaining families at the centrally located Dey Krahorm site were forcibly evicted early Saturday by police, and their homes leveled by workers and heavy machinery.

One of the many reasons Dey Krahorm residents refused to ac-cept 7NG’s offer to move to the relocation area was its location on the city’s outskirts, far from the places where many worked.

The cost of traveling to the city center has been a source of discontent for those that did move to the relocation village.

Local rights group Licadho said Wednesday that the bus service would not be enough and if 7NG wanted to help people it shouldn’t have evicted them in the first place.

“If the company has intentions to help the villagers, those relocated people should not be charged money. To take people and dump them very far from the city then run a bus business, that means the company is earning a profit from those poor people,” Licadho investigator Am Sam Ath said.

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