City Land To Be Registered In 6 to 7 Years

More than 1,000 residents on the outskirts of Phnom Penh re­ceived official land titles during a ceremony Thursday, as a senior land management official an­nounced it would take six or seven more years to finish registering land in the capital.

Chhuon Sothy, director of the Municipal Department of Land Management, Urbanization and Con­struction, said about 200,000 land lots in the city have yet to be registered. “[We] hope to finish the land re­gistration throughout Phnom Penh in about six or seven years,” he said.

Not including those granted at Thursday’s ceremony, a total of 3,261 land titles have been issued by the city since its land-registration program began in February 2004, he said.

Villagers receiving ownership titles Thursday had been living on their land for more than 25 years. “We will not worry anymore about losing our land,” villager Touch Sar­om said.

World Bank President James Wolf­ensohn, who presided over Thurs­day’s ceremony, applauded the land management administration’s efforts. “Sorting out this issue will take time, but it cannot take too much time,” he said.

Several NGOs are using Wolf­en­sohn’s visit to ask for in­ter­vention in other land issues. “We request that…you call on the govern­ment… to cancel all illegal economic land con­cessions,” Kong Pisey, acting chairman of the Cambodian Hu­man Rights Action Com­mit­tee, wrote in a letter to Wolfen­sohn.

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