Phnom Penh municipal authorities have told another 200 families that they face eviction from their land on the banks of the Tonle Bassac river. Residents of Tonle Bassac commune’s Village 8 received a letter late last week saying they were to be evicted for a city development project, Chamkar Mon district Deputy Governor Mea Sopheap said Wednesday.
Officials have said that a road and a suspension bridge linking Koh Pich island to the city is to be built at the site.
The letter did not specify, what, if any compensation was to be paid, but Mea Sopheap said: “City Hall will compensate them.”
Sung Bonna of the Bonna Realty group said land in Village 8 was worth between $400 and $600 per square meter.
Residents of nearby Group 78, who live on the site of a planned road to a second Koh Pich bridge, received a third eviction notice last week, accompanied by an offer of alternative land in a remote part of Dangkao district and compensation of between $500 and $600 each.
“We are surprised at this letter but not afraid of eviction,” said Chuop Pho, 32, who has lived in Village 8 since 1988.
“The other day, local authorities came to measure our property,” Chuop Pho said Monday. “I don’t know what they will pay if they tell us to leave.”
Thai Phoeung, who bought her 150 square meters plot 13 years ago, said she did not receive the eviction letter but was told about the notice by other villagers.
“I’m not worried,” the 51-year-old said. “This is my land.”
Mea Sopheap admitted that some people might not have received their eviction notices yet. “They may not know of our plan to evict them,” he said.
SRP lawmaker Son Chhay said City Hall had no right to forcefully evict villagers from Bassac commune. “The price of land in Cambodia is going up,” he said. “Why are the people suffering instead of benefiting from this?”
Deputy Municipal Governor Pa Socheatvong could not be reached for comment.