This town ain’t big enough for both of us: New Cairo bridge 50cm from homes

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Teraet Al-Zomor Bridge is located on an axis in the Giza governorate, which passes through Nasr El-Din Street in Cairo. (Supplied)
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Updated 13 May 2020

This town ain’t big enough for both of us: New Cairo bridge 50cm from homes

  • Cairo authorities say residential blocks were built without a license, order demolition

CAIRO: Construction work on a bridge built a hairline away from residential apartment buildings in Cairo has sent social media abuzz.

However, sources at the Ministry of Housing said that four buildings, which are ultra-close to Teraet Al-Zomor Bridge, were actually built in violation of the law.
The bridge is located on an axis in the Giza governorate which passes through Nasr El-Din Street in Al-Haram in Cairo.
The sources said that a decision to demolish the buildings had been issued since the completion of the bridge, adding that Al-Zomor Bridge had met all required standards, and that the buildings were unlicensed and therefore the obstacle.
Pictures posted on social media appear to show the bridge almost glued to the buildings.
The bridge is 12 kilometers long and up to 65.5 meters wide. When completed later this year, its estimated cost will be 5 billion pounds ($317 million).  
Mahmoud Nassar, head of the Central Agency for Construction in Egypt, said that the bridge was crucial and will be useful to the neighborhood.
Regarding the buildings that are now a whisker away from the bridge, Nassar said around 50 centimeters separates them from the bridge. He added that a specialized committee from the Land Survey Authority and from the governorate had been set up to survey all the buildings constructed on the path of the axis, in order to compensate residents who have not committed any housing violations.
He said 250 million Egyptian pounds had been allocated to compensate residents of the buildings to be demolished.
The residents objected to the bridge’s construction because of its proximity, and also because the height of the bridge blocks the view of residents living on the first few floors.
The owner of one building affected by the bridge construction, Hazem Ezzat Qassem, called those who claimed that the buildings were unlicensed “liars.” He said the buildings were issued licenses from Al-Omranyea in 2008 permitting construction.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The four buildings, which are ultra-close to the bridge, were actually built in violation of the law, sources said.

• A decision to demolish the buildings had been issued since the completion of the bridge, adding that the bridge had met all required standards, and that the buildings were unlicensed and therefore the obstacle.

• MP Mohamed Fouad submitted an urgent request to Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly as well as other ministers to debate the construction.

“We do not object to the project since it is a national project,” Qassem said. “But compensation must be given to store owners and apartment owners of the first six floors.”
Member of Parliament Mohamed Fouad, representing Al-Omraneya constituency in Giza, submitted an urgent request to Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly as well as other ministers to debate the construction of the Teraet Al-Zomor Bridge.
“For years we have been monitoring the great project which extends Teraet Al-Zomor with Al-Haram Street and Al-Omraneya. However, there was very slow action taken by the executive bodies,” Fouad said. He pointed out that work on the project “started suddenly and was quickly in full swing, which caused complete chaos in the implementation process.”
Fouad added that the bridge’s problems had breached housing codes and that the bridge was constructed in a way that directly affects the road beneath it. He added that the bridge violated the privacy of homes and exposed residents to danger by being built so close to it and that of surrounding buildings.
The path of Teraet Al-Zomor begins from the Al-Mounib Ring Road to the Al-Warraq Ring Road in Giza governorate. It connects the main axes of July 26, including Gamaet El-Dowal El-Arabeya, Saft El-Laban, Faisal, and El-Haram in addition to the streets of Mostashfa El-Sadr, El-Thalathiny, Khatem Al-Morsaleen, and Embaba Airport.


At least 14 civilians killed by booby traps in Egypt’s Sinai

Updated 45 min 19 sec ago

At least 14 civilians killed by booby traps in Egypt’s Sinai

  • Daesh militants in July attacked several villages in the town of Bir Al-Abd, forcing people to flee their homes
  • The militants had laid booby traps in several houses that killed at least 14 people after they returned to their homes

EL-ARISH: More than a dozen civilians, including women and children, were killed in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai Peninsula over the past two weeks from explosive devices laid down in their homes by militants, security and medical officials said Sunday.
Daesh militants in July attacked several villages in the town of Bir Al-Abd, forcing people to flee their homes. The military then secured the villages in August and allowed residents to return to their homes a few weeks later, the officials said.
The militants, however, had laid booby traps in several houses that killed at least 14 people, including six from the same family late on Saturday, officials said. The causalities included women and children.
At least ten others have been wounded since Oct. 12 and were taken to the town’s hospital for treatment, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
Bir Al-Abd was the site of a horrific extremist attack on a mosque in 2017 that killed over 300 worshippers, some of them fathers praying with their young sons. The tribes of North Sinai have been heavily targeted by militants who view their veneration of Muslim saints and shrines as heretical, forcing a mass exodus of residents from the impoverished area that has long been underdeveloped by the government.
Violence and instability there intensified after the military overthrew the country’s president in 2013 amid nationwide protests against the Muslim Brotherhood group’s divisive rule. Extremist militants have since carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and minority Christians.
The conflict has largely taken place out of public view, with journalists and outside observers barred from the area. The conflict has so far not expanded into the southern end of the peninsula where popular Red Sea tourist resorts are located.
In February 2018, the military launched a massive operation in Sinai that also encompassed parts of the Nile Delta and deserts along the country’s western border with Libya. Since then, the pace of Daesh attacks in Sinai’s north has diminished.