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

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)
This town ain’t big enough for both of us: New Cairo bridge 50cm from homes
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Updated 13 May 2020

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

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.


Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks

Updated 02 December 2020

Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks

Lebanon’s president expresses hope for Israel border talks
  • President Michel Aoun was in Beirut for discussions with Lebanese leaders
  • The negotiations are the first non-security talks to be held between the two countries

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s president said Wednesday he wants maritime border talks with Israel to succeed and that disagreements during the last round of negotiations can be resolved based on international law.
President Michel Aoun spoke during a meeting with John Desrocher, the US mediator for the negotiations, who was in Beirut for discussions with Lebanese leaders.
The fourth round of talks, which was scheduled to take place Wednesday, was postponed until further notice, officials in the two countries said.
The negotiations are the first non-security talks to be held between the two countries, which have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war following decades of conflict. Resolving the border issue could pave the way for lucrative oil and gas deals on both sides.
Israel and Lebanon each claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea. During the second round of the talks the Lebanese delegation — a mix of army officers and experts — offered a new map that pushes for an additional 1,430 square kilometers (550 square miles).
Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview with Army Radio last week that “the Lebanese presented positions that are a provocation,” but he added that all negotiations start with “excessive demands and provocations.”
“I hope that in a few months we’ll be able to reach a breakthrough,” he added.
A statement released by Aoun’s office quoted him as telling Desrocher that Lebanon wants the talks to succeed because “this will strengthen stability in the south and allow us to invest in natural resources of oil and gas.”
He said difficulties that surfaced during the last round can be solved through discussions based on the Law of the Sea. Aoun said if the talks stall then “other alternatives can be put forward,” without elaborating.
The last round of talks were held in November and hosted by the United Nations in a border post between the two countries.
Israel has already developed offshore natural gas rigs, producing enough for domestic consumption and export abroad. Lebanon hopes that its own oil and gas discoveries will help alleviate its long-running economic troubles.