Authourities in Preah Sihanouk province’s Stung Hav district yesterday called on those responsible for infilling the sea off a beach in O’tres commune to come forward, as their activity was illegal.
Chhay Sokunda, governor of Stung Hav district, said that district authorities are looking for those who have dumped rocks into the ocean to extend the beach, to hold them accountable before the law. “We do not know the identity of those who committed this because they did it at night. Authorities are looking for someone to be held accountable.”
Sokunda said this happened recently along about a 40 metre stretch of the beach.
The authorities allow land to be reclaimed from the sea if there is a proper request from the investment party to develop a project, he said. “However, in the case of stealing land in public places without asking permission, they must face the law.”
He added that local residents were interviewed and confirmed that the reclamation took place at night.
According to a statement issued by the Stung Hav district administration on Monday, coastal land is classified as state public land and all occupations or constructions are prohibited and designated as areas for public use.
It said that permission to use coastal land is implemented in accordance with the land use master plan and land use plan of the Ministry of Land Management which contains detailed instructions for implementation and regulations in force to ensure public safety, society and the environment.
In 2019, Prime Minister Hun Sen asked the Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara and the governors of the four coastal provinces to protect the coastal area as he sternly warned those found guilty of land grabbing.
He requested that Sophara and the governors in each coastal province to protect the coast as he is worried that the destruction will continue.
He added that land reclamation in the sea can only be done if there is a proper study and it is necessary for the construction, such as the construction of a port or to block waves for recreation areas.