The Phnom Penh Municipal Authority has set a final deadline for residents of Chamkar Mon district’s Group 78 community to accept a compensation deal and vacate the area.
In an April 20 official notice obtained Thursday, Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema warns that the 86 families living in 66 houses in Tonle Bassac commune’s Group 78 would face unspecified “administrative measures” if they don’t come to City Hall within 15 days to accept the city’s offer.
The notice didn’t detail the compensation being offered, but the latest deal, according to residents, was for each family to receive a 5 by 12-meter plot of land in Dangkao district along with $5,000.
The city’s notice says the community must make way for a public road, with the remainder of the land rightfully belonging to a private company.
Once the promised administrative measures are implemented, City Hall “will not be responsible for any damages or loss of people’s property,” the notice said.
Mr Kep Chuktema didn’t answer his telephone Thursday. Deputy Municipal Governor Mann Chhoeun said he was too busy to talk about the notice and referred questions to district authorities.
Chamkar Mon Governor Lo Yuy said that the notice had already been distributed Thursday and declined to comment further.
Residents’ representative Lim Sambo, 54, said that the notice was officially handed out in the village late Thursday afternoon. He added that residents were worried about the future.
Residents in Group 78 understand the “administrative measures” term as meaning a violent eviction, Mr Lim Sambo said. “They are just going to bulldoze,” he said, adding that the residents will discuss with their lawyers today about what to do next.
Mr Lim Sambo said most residents have consistently turned down City Hall’s offers since 2006, instead demanding the market price of $1,300 per square meter for their land.