Land title total soars

Source: Khmer Times

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One of the many protests over land disputes. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Land titles were issued for nearly four million people involving 500,000 land plots last year, nearly two thirds of the total of seven million plots, the Land Ministry has reported.

Meanwhile, the ministry working group for land dispute resolution received nearly 757 complaints of land disputes. Of these, 115 cases were resolved and the number of land protests fell.

The 2016 annual report and new direction for 2017, released yesterday, said the ministry issued titles to 4,451,817 plots, equal to 63.6 percent of the total.

Separately, the Cadastral Commission resolved 235 cases involving 1,271 families in a total area of 145.4 hectares. A further 132 cases were dismissed after the investigation found them outside its competence, while in 80 cases there was a request to withdraw the complaint.

Land Management Minister Chea Sophara said at the opening ceremony of the ministry’s annual report at the Garden City Hotel yesterday that land registration and land dispute resolutions have cut the number of disputes and protests.

“The ministry has gradually achieved a land management vision which has managed the use and allocation of land fairly, transparently, efficiently and sustainably,” he said.

Adhoc’s head of land rights Latt Ky said land disputes in 2016 were down on the previous year, but dispute resolution was slow as some victims had waited years for justice.

As elections loom this year and next, Mr. Ky asked the government to improve the political reform on land and show a willingness to resolve land disputes effectively rather than just promise to solve them.

In 2016, Adhoc received 112 land dispute complaints involving 8,973 families on 38,384 hectares.

This was down on 2015 when there were 182 cases affecting 16,679 families on 30,061 hectares.

The Land Ministry also launched a new work directive for 2017 to strengthen the efficiency and quality of services to citizens.

It ordered speeded up land registration and provision of land titles to citizens and for the remaining 10 percent of land disputes, equal to more than 700 cases, to be resolved.

Bin Chhin, a deputy prime minister and chairman of the National Authority for Land Dispute and Resolution, urged the ministry to keep focusing on land registration for public, state and indigenous communities.

He also urged the ministry to continue to implement social land concessions for people who need to build a house and to farm for their family.

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