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Friday, May 22, 2020 – 6:05 PM
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Friday, May 22, 2020 – 6:05 PM
Last Thursday morning, I attended the inauguration of the “Bashayer Al Khair 3” project in the Kabbari area of Alexandria, knowing that I also attended the opening of the first and second phases in Ghit El Grapes in 2015 and 2018.
The residences are designed in a civilized way, with all basic services, in addition to electrical appliances and furniture.
This area was a belt of poverty and a large population density, with a complete absence of basic facilities and services, as stated in the documentary film by the prominent artist Ahmed Fouad Selim.
In this third stage, 200 buildings have been completed with 10624 housing units, each unit area is 90 meters, in addition to a complex of services, commercial malls, schools and hospitals.
All of this will not only provide safe and civilized housing for people but also 26,000 sustainable employment opportunities.
The Al-Bashair project in its various phases, and as I understood from the words of Major General Ahmed Abdelazazi, assistant head of the Engineering Projects Authority, it is 1500 buildings with 80 thousand units, housing 400 thousand people, and 650 thousand square meters for shops and commercial malls. And when the first stage in grape-opening was opened in March 2015, it became a model for the development of slums in the whole of Egypt.
Assem El-Gazzar, Minister of Housing, spoke about the largest development project with its four urban ranges in Alexandria, the northern coast, the Suez Canal and Greater Cairo, focusing on the need to create more job opportunities in Alexandria, where there are 5-4 million citizens, but there are only a million jobs, while Greater Cairo, with around 20 million citizens, provides 7 million jobs.
The words of Assem El-Gazzar included many important ideas, including that 47% of housing in Alexandria is random and not planned.
The Minister of Local Development, Mahmoud Shaarawi, spoke about the numbers of violations and encroachments on state lands and rights.
Here President El-Sisi intervened and talked about what could be considered a new approach in the state’s dealings with the aggressors of its rights. The president was very sharp and he addresses all officials, especially the conservatives, with the need to exercise their work and powers properly, and the severity of dealing with violators. He said what it means: “I do not want to hear only the number of violations, but rather the arrest and imprisonment of the violators and their transfer to the prosecution.”
This is a new logic, and if applied, it will be an important development in the equation, which governs the issue of infringements of state rights. The equation is old, as the president quickly pointed out to her, that the violator builds an architecture, for example, and the competent authorities release a report, and even get him a ruling for removal, but the implementation is not actual but rather only in the sense of “a blow to an ax in the balcony or the wall” and maybe some fines but The construction continues, the fines increase, and the community pays the price.
What the president wants is intense intimidation of violators so that the message is clear to everyone and that anyone who builds a building without a permit or violates the law will pay the heavy price.
I suspect that those who violated or stole state rights were terrified at noon last Thursday, when President Sisi was talking about the need to deter and imprison them. And I suspect that the owners of the buildings and the violating projects that appeared in the presentation that the officials presented to the president “have read the Al-Fatihah for themselves”, after everyone knew that they were violators, and after the president demanded that they be stopped immediately.
The fundamental question: Will the situation really change for the better after the president’s talk ?!
I hope so, knowing that the president himself said we have the laws, but we want firm implementation of them.
The second question: Who brought the slums to such an extreme extent ?!
Certainly, the offenders are responsible, but the most certain is that they would not have escaped their crimes had it not been for the “big whales”, and that is another important story, until we differentiate between the small corrupt and the maker and cause of great corruption.