Workers use machinery to level a plot of land in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district yesterday morning. Hong Menea
OCIC bulldozing in Chroy Changvar rolls on in spite of dispute
Fri, 22 April 2016 ppp
Pech Sotheary and Ananth Baliga
Under the supervision of 50 security guards, construction firm Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) resumed bulldozing land on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula yesterday, despite two families laying claim to the land being cleared.
Early yesterday morning, OCIC, run by tycoon Pung Khieu Se, used 10 earthmoving machines to clear the land in the district’s Prek Leap commune to make way for a new road and drainage system for its planned satellite city.
However, Hul Savoeun, a 45-year-old resident of the area, said that the land belongs to her and that she had not been compensated for it.
“If they want to build the road and drainage system, they should have a solution first,” she said. “Do not clear the land and rob people’s land like this.”
Chea Sophat, a representative for the communities affected by the project, said that OCIC’s offer of $15 per square metre was unacceptable and maintained a demand of $400 per square metre, adding that the going rate in the area was $2,000.
The new road was being constructed to ease traffic congestion in Phnom Penh, claimed the district official in charge of the construction, Sen Narin.
“We have to do it even though they have not received compensation, because we have invited them [to negotiate] many times already,” Narin said.
OCIC project manager Touch Samnang said residents’ claims of having titles for the land were incorrect, given that “there are no land titles for that area”.