Land reclamation being monitored

Source : Khmer Times 

Trucks dump sand to expand land in a coastal area. Fresh News

Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed willingness to support the amendment of existing laws – or support new ones – in order to prevent unauthorised reclamation projects in the Kingdom’s coastal areas.

Mr Hun Sen on Saturday during the Sea Festival in Koh Kong province said some land reclamation is allowed in some development sites such as at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in order to serve as a buffer zone for incoming waves and bring in tourists.

He also said that Land Management Minister Chea Sophara and Tourism Minister Thong Khon must prevent unauthorised land reclamation projects and hold perpetrators accountable.

“Measures will be taken against any unauthorised persons who reclaim land without permission,” Mr Hun Sen said. “If we need to amend laws or add new ones, I will support a punishment clause for those who reclaim land without permission.”

Additionally, he said Mr Sophara and Mr Khon must work with other officials to accelerate the construction of waste water treatment facilities in Preah Sihanouk province to prevent rubbish from flowing into the ocean.

“For these, the two ministers have to do this without negligence,” Mr Hun Sen said. “We also want development, do not neglect this.”

He noted that more studies on waste management must be conducted in order to build additional sewage pipes.

“More and more rubbish and waste water flow into the sea, we must try to seek every means to ensure our sea stays beautiful and tourists can go into the water without fear of itching and diseases,” Mr Hun Sen said. “If we develop only on land, but destroy the sea, it is destruction just the same.”

Mr Khon, who is also deputy chairman of the National Committee for the Management and Development of the Coastal Zone, yesterday said he will work closely with officials to prevent unauthorised land reclamation projects and prevent wastewater from entering the ocean.

“We will block wastewater from flowing into the sea – there are already two big wastewater treatment facilities in Preah Sihanouk,” he said. “We may instruct people to prepare the tank that we will use to help prevent wastewater from flowing into the sea. We will check and address these tasks continuously.”

The Tourism Ministry on Facebook said a total of four wastewater treatment facilities will be built in Preah Sihanouk.

It noted that the sites for the facilities are Independence Beach, a creek near Sokha company, Ou Sam Ath beach and Ochheuteal beach. It also said that a 919-metre drain network will be built.

Provincial Governor Yun Min yesterday said laws regarding reclamation of land must be strictly enforced by the authorities.

“I would like to tell people who commit illegal activities to stop because our provincial authorities have up to now strictly implemented the law,” Mr Min said.

In September and October, Cambodians on social media criticised investment companies for making Preah Sihanouk’s ocean water dirty.

NCMD and provincial officials inspected the alleged companies and took action against the owners.



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