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Lake Residents Request Money for Move

Hundreds of residents of the Boeung Kak lake area met with Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema in a conference room at City Hall Monday to request compensation for moving to make way for a massive development project.

About 450 residents asked the city for $13,000 each in order to move from the area, which is slated for the development of commercial, residential and entertainment property.

City officials and developers have made plans for commercial buildings, supermarkets, a meeting hall, an entertainment center, night clubs, hotels, a university, a hospital and residences on the site where now sits a wide pond full of water lilies encircled by makeshift homes of the poor.

Residents have complained in the past they were not being given enough money to move away from the development site, but the city maintains most people living along the lakeside, in makeshift wooden homes, are there illegally.

Some residents have requested new housing on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, in Dangkao district, while others are seeking payment.

Kep Chuktema told the crowd of residents he would take their monetary request under consideration, requesting cooperation from the developer, Shukaku, Inc.

A Shukaku representative was present at the meeting, but declined to speak to the crowd. Shukaku has a 99-year lease with the government, for an estimated $79 million project.

One plan for the development would require filling in the lake.