P Vihear Market Rebuilding Behind Schedule, Official Says

The rebuilding of the market de­stroyed during an April firefight at Preah Vihear Temple, will be finished in November, months be­hind original plans, a market official said Wednesday following a meeting with provincial authorities.

Prasat village and market chief Prak Sothy said by telephone that stall spaces for the market will be assigned in a lottery next week.

“It’s been difficult to carry the materials to the temple because of the rainy season,” Mr Sothy said of the delay.

Vendors, who will own their stalls, have agreed to pay for part of the reconstruction, which could run between $49 to $71 per vendor depending on the size of their stall, he said.

“Authorities will pay 50 percent and the villagers themselves will have to pay 50 percent. The construction materials including steel roofing and wood as well as their transportation is the authorities’ responsibility. But the vendors have to pay for carpentry themselves,” he said.

On April 3, Cambodian and Thai forces briefly clashed at the disputed site, with Thai munitions damaging the hilltop temple and completely destroying the market at the base of the temple stairway. More than 200 vendors and their families lost their businesses and homes.

Less than a week later, Prime Minister Hun Sen called for the immediate reconstruction of the razed market.

Suos Yara, undersecretary of state for the Council of Ministers, said July 14 when construction began that the market construction would be complete in 10 days. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Hom Kha, a villager who lost his stall in the fire, said he looked forward to getting a new stall and didn’t know if he would build his stall himself or not.

“Next week I will get [assigned] one store, but I do not know where the store will be,” he said.

Preah Vihear Provincial Gov­ernor Oum Mara said he was too busy to talk with a reporter Wednesday.


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