Reak Reay Residents Make Deal With Developer

Remaining residents of Phnom Penh’s Reak Reay community have reached an agreement with developer Bassac Garden City, tempor-arily ending an ongoing land dis-pute, representatives said Monday.

About 55 families belonging to the Tonle Bassac commune neigh-borhood met with company representatives at the commune offices on Monday, and agreed to accept housing in the apartments planned for the site. Compensation, however, for those who choose to leave their land, and a demolition schedule have yet to be determined.

“Both sides agreed to developing at the scene, and villagers clapped their hands in celebration,” Reak Reay community representative Heng Samphors said Monday.

Representatives from Bassac Garden City, Tonle Bassac commune chief Khat Narith and Can-adia Bank’s legal adviser Rath Kumnith were all involved in the meeting, which lasted about half an hour. Rath Kumnith said Monday that Canadia Bank is only involved in the dispute as the provider of financing for the project.

The agreement was based on a notice from the Council of Minist-ers, villager Pen Thay said Mon-day. “Our villagers agreed 100 percent with the notice and are hap-py,” he said.

Khat Narith confirmed Monday that Reak Reay villagers had made an agreement with company representatives. “I hope their talks will be as fruitful in the second stage.”

Touch Samnang, project manager for the Bassac Garden City project, said he was too busy to comment Monday.

On Sunday, Chan Bunthol, who owns a home in Reak Reay, said that villagers on the west side of the road dividing the community were asking for $500 per square meter for their land, while villagers to the east wanted between $12,000 and $15,000 for each meter of width.

Meetings have not yet been scheduled to determine what compensation, if any, will be provided to villagers for leaving their homes.

About 200 families have already accepted $20,000 in compensation and vacated their homes.


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