Railway Residents Told to Make Way for Road Construction

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Construction crews build the new road along the railway line in northern Phnom Penh in 2021. (Russei Keo district Administration)
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Russei Keo district authorities want families living along the railway line in Phnom Penh to remove any parts of their homes or other constructions that can block road construction.

The district administration on November 24 asked residents living along the rail line to ensure their homes or any other construction was not in the way of crews building a 20-meter road to ease traffic on National Road 5.

The residents were given seven days to remove their homes if it was impeding construction work. The administration added that it had demarcated where the road would pass through with spray paint and that some residents had been given compensation for any loss of property.

The road will pass through three communes: Russei Keo, Tuol Sangke I and Kilometer Pram Muoy.

“In case all people don’t follow the above instructions and cause obstruction to the construction of the road for the public use, district administration will use administrative measures to remove it without taking any responsibility for damage or loss of the property,” the letter reads.

Ek Khundoeun, the Russei Keo district governor, said people who had already received compensation had to remove their homes before the deadline, but did not say how many families were yet to receive compensation from the government. “Those who got compensation already have to move,” he said.

Kim Sary, a resident living along the railway in Russei Keo district, said her family got compensation, used it to build a new house and would remove her old home to make way for the road.

“I already agreed to leave, I don’t need to be removed,” she said.

According to a 2017 report from land rights NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut, the new concrete road would affect around 1,000 families. Phnom Penh authorities say they provided affected families compensation of land, measuring 4 by 15 square meters in Boeng Salang in Russei Keo.

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