Beach wall construction stopped

Source: Khmer Times

Officials say the beach should not be fenced off for private businesses. Supplied

Sihanoukville provincial authorities yesterday ordered a stop to construction of an illegal concrete wall near a tourist beach in Ream commune.

Chhit Ratanak, deputy director of Sihanouk provincial hall, said officials

went to Ream beach after getting a report about the construction. He said authorities found 29 metres of wall being built to reserve an area for one business.

“We went to stop them immediately,” Mr Ratanak said.

“They wished to build the wall for the benefit of their business. We do not allow this.

“The beach belongs to the public. No one owns it. The beach is kept for tourism.”

Buon Narith, a provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said that if authorities did not take action, more concrete constructions would be built near the beach.

“I think that it is good when the authorities crack down on those illegal constructions,” he said.

“People who build them wish to grab beach land for their own benefit.”

Authorities in Sihanoukville have also ordered 106 families to remove illegal buildings in Veal Renh commune.

The buildings, built for the owners to live in and to sell, have to be removed before Sunday.

Heak Hy Moly, deputy governor of Prey Nop district, said most of them belonged to vendors who took over land for their own businesses.

“They build illegal constructions for sale without permission from the authorities,” she said.

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