Sihanoukville Construction Sites Scaled Back

Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Chhit Sokhon ordered three construction sites near Sihanoukville’s O’Tres Beach to scale back their projects on Friday after the owners overstepped building limitations, officials said Sunday.

Mr. Sokhon ordered three construction sites along the O’Tres stream, an inlet that stretches about 2 km from the beach to O’Tres pagoda, to halt construction within 25 meters of the stream banks.

“The construction owners must follow the provincial order and remove their illegal buildings,” Mr. Sokhon said in an order that was delivered to the construction sites on Friday.

“The construction owners must remove the buildings by themselves within 30 days from the scheduled announcement,” it added. “Any construction owner who does not agree to remove the construction, we will send authorized persons and a joint working group to remove it without being responsible for any damages.”

Last week, provincial authorities used an excavator to demolish a partially constructed building after its owner did not follow similar orders.

Deputy provincial land management director Khat Bunna is the owner of one of the construction sites that was ordered to scale back its work. Mr. Bunna said he planned to build a resort with 24 rooms on 4,000 square meters along the stream, and that only one room would be impacted by Mr. Sokhon’s orders.

“I already received the announcement to remove that part and my workers are doing it today,” he said Sunday.

Mr. Sokhon said Mr. Bunna’s project overstepped the limit in three different locations for a total of 88 meters along the stream. The two other construction sites overstepped the limit along 64 and 75 meters of the stream, respectively, Mr. Sokhon said.

Deputy provincial Governor Srun Sroan said the owners of the three sites just started building and therefore the order should not cause significant losses.

“But we will take action on these illegal buildings if the month passes,” Mr. Srun Sroan said.

“We will not allow anyone to construct buildings along the bank of the stream because it can have an environmental impact,” he added.

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