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10 Apr 2022

Sorn Sarath, CamboJA

Cambodia: Companies continue clearing disputed land for new airport construction while compensation remains yet to be finalized

"New airport developer begins clearing farmland, though compensation hasn’t been finalized", 10 April 2022

The developer of Phnom Penh’s new mega airport in Kandal Stung district … began clearing farmland in Takhmao town to make way for road construction, though a handful of remaining holdouts have yet to see a resolution to their ongoing land dispute…

The remaining six families affected by the 60-meter-wide road project, said the company arrived with excavators and began clearing their land in Prek Ho village, Prek Ho commune, Takmao town.

Heng Leang told … that the company began clearing the farmland without notice, though they had yet to resolve the dispute.

“At first, I did not care about land disputes, despite many media reports about the issue, I heard about people affected in Kandal Stung district but now it has happened to me,” he said…

Leang said that the company had negotiated with the remaining affected families, including his, three times. Their final offer of $50 per square meter was rejected, he said. He said that his land, measuring more than 0.2 hectares, would receive about $30,000 dollars in compensation — and that he was asking for $120 per square meters.

… Chiv Kok Say, who is in charge of land acquisition for the new airport said that the company already dealt with most of the affected people, with only a few families left.

“Compared with the whole project, how can we leave this to be stalled by a few families? This is a national development project because we must complete the construction in 2023 for the SEA Games in Cambodia,” he said…