Phnom Penh Municipality on Wednesday issued a directive ordering residents of Meanchey and Dangkao districts to declare ownership of their land within 30 days or risk losing their land rights to make way for the planned Samdech Techo Hun Sen Boulevard.
The directive urged affected landholders to “hurry in declaring ownership” within 30 days otherwise the “Phnom Penh Municipality will assume those landlords [are] voluntarily hand[ing] over their land to the state to construct the road in the public interest.”
According to the directive, ING Holdings Co Ltd has obtained government approval to construct the 9.16 km-long and 60 meters-wide road. The road will stretch from the fork road at Chramoh Chrouk Kbal Thnal, crossing filled-in sections of Boeng Tumpon and Choeung Ek lakes, and connect to National Road 2 at Prek Kampoes commune.
However, residents at Boeng Tumpon lake in Chamkar Mon district living near the fork road received no directive, though they may also be affected by the construction.
A television broadcast of the directive was the only notice Chamkar Mon district residents received of the new road and the required ownership declarations, sparking alarm.
Peou Putheary, 38, and her neighbors became fearful of eviction when red-flagged poles marking the new road construction area were installed only 100 meters from their homes on the bank of Boeng Tumpon lake.
“We worry that it will affect our houses, but we have received no directive,” said Ms Putheary. “If it does affect our houses and the deadline expires, how can we seek a solution?”
Vet Kea, 58, said she and her neighbors along street 271 near the fork road also received no notice of the directive and were very worried about eviction.
“We really want to know if our houses are affected. If so, how much will they compensate us,” said Ms Kea, adding that residents planned to go to city hall to ask about their land.