Most parts of the Run Ta Ek development site in Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district – which has been allocated for those willing to relocate from the protected Angkor Archaeological Park – have already been cleared, and the developers are well underway with the building of infrastructure. Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that the largely deserted area will soon become a town.

Sun Kong, director of the provincial Department of Environment, said on November 28 that some of the future residents have already begun constructing their new homes.

“In Run Ta Ek, the engineering team assigned by Prime Minister Hun Sen has cleared most of the land, and a series of roads will be completed soon,” he added.

According to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara, 9,574 eligible households have already volunteered to live in the Run Ta Ek eco-village.

Hai Yong, a representative of the orientation task working group, told The Post on November 28 that the draw for lots in the Peak Sneng and Run Ta Ek areas had almost been completed.

He said about 86 per cent of the residents who were within the Angkor Park had volunteered to move by November 16.

“The team continues to carry out more draws for the residents, but it is a relief that there are only a few people left. Some of them work far away from home and were away when we carried out previous draws. Some have not yet come forward, but our officials are ready to assist those who volunteer,” he added.

So Pov, one of the residents who agreed to relocate from the Angkor area, said on November 28 that she had moved to the Run Ta Ek area in early November. As the installation of the water supply system was not yet complete, she had drilled a small well to obtain water for temporary use.

“After my home was complete, I moved in. Now I am building a fence. I feel free here, because we can build whatever we want here – we could not do so in Angkor. I am happy and the officials have helped me a lot. If any land has not been cleared and levelled yet, we just ask them and they begin the work immediately,” she said.

Vin Ren, the first deputy chief of Peak Sneng commune, said on November 28 that the Peak Sneng area was being cleared and plots of land had not yet been marked out.