Minister Orders NagaWorld Construction Stopped

Source: Khmer Times / Tuesday, 03 May 2016 by Taing Vida

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Construction workers building an overhang at the NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

An awning at the NagaWorld casino which extends three meters onto a public sidewalk was ordered to be destroyed yesterday by the Minister of Land Management, according to officials.
Minister Chea Sophara took to Facebook yesterday to say the ministry wanted to make an example of NagaWorld in the hope that construction sites extending onto public land would cease as a result.
“NagaWorld casino’s construction dared to build on a public road. Destroy it in order to avoid this case happening in the future,” he said.
Ministry spokesman Seng Lot said ministry officials and Phnom Penh City Hall discussed the awning’s destruction with NagaWorld yesterday, ordering the casino to stop all construction which violates public roads or the company would run the risk of further legal action.
A NagaWorld representative could not be reached for comment yesterday, but the casino had previously stated that it usually built close to public property and the government’s recent crackdown to stop construction sites encroaching on public land was ineffective.
In early 2015, the fences and the gates of the National Buddhist Institute were destroyed by NagaWorld during its construction of the Naga 2 complex. Rumors also spread about the institute being sold, which led to protests by supporters and monks, who rallied against the construction of Naga2.
In response, the government claimed that Naga Corp Company was allowed to construct a sub-station for electricity on the grounds of the National Buddhist Institute to supply electricity to its new hotel on the other side of the institute. The company said dismantling the fences and gates at the institute was meant to facilitate a subway, as a part of the Naga City Walk project.
After completion, Naga agreed it would restore the fences and gates.
However, in November 2015, Prime Minister Hun Sen inspected the construction area of NagaWorld and immediately ordered its suspension, claiming it to be illegal.
During the opening ceremony of the 55-story Shangri-La Hotel near the Bassac River yesterday, minister Sophara threatened to blacklist foreign construction companies that violated technical and legal standards.
“For those foreign companies, when they build in other countries, why they obey the law? And when they build in Cambodia, they seem not to obey the law. I will work with this effectively in order to prevent those in construction building the wrong way,” he said.

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