A recent addition to a hotel complex being built next to Phnom Penh’s Naga Casino is too close to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and must be demolished, officials said Wednesday.
Work on the hotel, which is being built by the casino’s owner NagaCorp, had slowed in recent days as a labor dispute with the building contractor CCAG resulted in a walkout by 200 unionized workers on May 17. Trouble for the hotel now appears to be brewing on a different front.
“It’s not in conformity with the laws of our Cambodia,” said Ouch Borith, secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. By law, structures adjacent to a ministry should recede to at least two meters from its perimeter wall, he said.
A visit to the Naga hotel site Wednesday evening found that a large, newly built overhang extended as far as the foreign ministry’s wall.
Michael Nen, NagaCorp vice president for public affairs, said Wednesday that while the matter had not been referred to him, NagaCorp would act to resolve any problems.
“As far as I am concerned, we have not received any formal complaints,” he said. “Things should work out. If we are doing something that’s not according to the sketch, we will adjust ourselves.”
Officials at the Land Management Ministry said they were considering how the offending portion of the structure should best be demolished. “We wish that they should demolish what they have done,” said Secretary of State Keo Khemara, adding that the ministry had not given permission for the offending structure to be built.
Undersecretary of State Sok Sony said officials had discussed the problem on Wednesday.
“Some mentioned that we must only cut it and that we can’t knock it down because it will affect the building,” he said. “I don’t know the details but they discussed how to find a way to cut this building.”
CCAG representative La Ork said that his company had been told to halt all work on the hotel four to five days ago due to complaints from the ministry.
“If it must be cut, it must be cut two meters,” he said.