April 5, 2022
PHNOM PENH – In the first quarter of 2022, the Apsara National Authority (ANA) – a state body tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park – approved 314 of the 439 renovation and construction requests it received from residents of its managed area.
The ANA said community working groups had examined the requests carefully and had approved work in Siem Reap town and four districts – Prasat Bakong, Angkor Thom, Puok and Banteay Srei.
It noted that the working groups also had to deal with a few problems – usually construction which did not follow the standards required. There was also land in the Angkor protected area advertised for sale on social media, another issue which had to be dealt with.
“We will continue to educate the people to understand the role and responsibilities of the ANA, the use of land in the protected area of Angkor resort and the procedures for having permission for repairs or building approved,” he said.
ANA spokesman Long Kosal could not be reached for comment on April 3, but he has said that ANA working groups had examined and approved almost every request for the repair or restoration of houses. The only denied requests were those found to have irregularities or which went beyond what was stated in law.
“Some requests have been denied as they failed to meet required standards or because the request was above the level of the working group’s authority. We meet with those people whose requests are turned down to find solutions and offer alternatives that will maintain the Khmer style,” he said.
He added that all renovations and construction of houses in the Angkor Park must be approved by the ANA because they are responsible for protecting the Khmer heritage of the area. If people received permission to build but did not follow the approved design, the ANA would order the project demolished.