Phsar Kandal Market Vendors Suspicious About Development

Despite differing claims by a Korean-Cambodian development company, Phnom Penh Muni­cipality on Monday denied that there are any plans to develop Phsar Kandal market.

More than 700 vendors from the market on Monday submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet and Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema, expressing concern over PPMD and Rootiz Group’s plans to build an eight-story building on a portion of the market.

PPMD and Rootiz Group Dir­ector Chan Sophal said Monday that he had “approval” from all relevant authorities to develop the market but that the company could not start until majority of the vendors supported the project.

“We started negotiations about 6 months ago…and we have agreed with them [authorities],” Mr Sophal said.

The company aims to develop the part of the market that currently consists of wooden stalls housing about 340 vendors. The section of the market contained in concrete, which houses about 530 stalls, will not be touched in the development progect, Mr Sophal said.

However, City Hall’s deputy cabinet director, Ket Chhe, said Monday, “We have no plans for Phsar Kandal, but I cannot comment about other markets in Phnom Penh.”

He declined to say if a ban on developing any markets in the capital, imposed by the Council of Ministers on June 16, is still in effect. The ban was put in place after vendors from Phsar Tuol Tompoung market, or Russian market, protested against a development plan.

Kruoch Nim, a vendor at the Phsar Kandal who helped collect thumbprints for the letters to Mr Hun Sen and Mr Chuktema, said people fear how they will make ends meet while the marke is closed for construction.

“As vendors we are worried about the long-time construction, losing clients and that we won’t have an income,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Cajsa Collin)



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