(CAAI News Media)
Tuesday, 05 January 2010 15:02 May Titthara
FORMER residents of Chamkarmon’s Group 34 community said Monday that delays in a government-brokered deal to purchase subsidised land in Dangkor district has reached an impasse over delays in relocation.
An arson attack on April 15 last year destroyed 150 homes and killed a 4-year-old girl in the Group 34 community in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district. Authorities brokered a deal whereby residents pay US$100 for land in Dangkor district.
Residents say they have struggled to raise the money for the land purchase and would prefer officials allow them to relocate first.
“Now I regret having paid already, because I still haven’t received a land title or been allowed to relocate,” said Horm Noeun, a former Group 34 resident.
Toch Sophan, a Group 34 community representative, said families have been contributing what money they can towards the price of land but fear authorities will not honour their commitment.
“We’ve collected money now from 80 families. Some gave us $10, others $40 and $80, whatever they could manage,” Toch Sophan said. “All of them said they would have preferred to get the land first and then provide the money later.”
Chor Pheng, chief of Chamkarmon’s Tomnup Toek commune, said the delay in resettling community residents was due to negotiations over the price of land in Dangkor district. “Now we are discussing the price with the landowner because the land used to sell for $28 per square metre, but now prices have come down and the owner is willing to sell for $20.86 per square metre,” he said.