The Cost of Development: Zamalek Residents Suffer the Consequences of Metro Extension

By Malak Khaled

The new extension of the Cairo underground metro has caused a 12-story building near the construction site to be evacuated. The extension of the third metro line is said to stretch from Heliopolis, through the Attaba district, then through Maspero to the new Zamalek stop.

Pictures of the cracked building as well as videos have been circulating on social media causing a wave of fury among the residents due to the damage to old and often historic buildings in the district.

Residents of the building said they feared it might collapse and were given 30,000 Egyptian Pounds each to cover their temporary residence until authorities find a solution for securing the building. Evacuation of the building took place on the 27th of July, and scenes of elderly residents stranded in the street were quick to make the rounds on social media.

On Sunday, Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels said that a “slight land subsidence” occurred around an old building in Zamalek which is what caused the building to partially collapse, denying that the underground construction is the reason behind it.

The damages of the building include cracks, as well as sinkholes under the garage and near the entrance which were seen in the initial inspections.

However, during a call with Ahmed Moussa on his show “’Ala Mass’oulity,” Kamal El-Wazir said, “The building is not leaning and has no cracks. Contrary to what was reported, there is no danger to the building.”

Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal and the Tunnels Authority said that they created a special engineering team to take all necessary measures to ensure the building’s safety and assess its condition.

During a call with the television channel Al Hadath Al Youm, a resident of the cracked building, Dina Zul-Fakar said, “Now we are homeless, and the 1,000 Egyptian pound compensation per day for a month is not enough for a family. We need our house and our clothes, since we left all our belongings behind,” pointing out that many residents of the district were worried about this metro project from the start.

On Monday, Egyptian transport minister El-Wazir was inspecting the district to follow up on damages to the surrounding buildings, it was discovered that the Bahraini embassy has faced some damages as well including the outer fence and an affiliated room, assuring the Bahraini ambassador that the repairs will start as soon as possible.

هيءة مترو الإنفاق: بهدلتوا الناس ومرمطوهم وها هى د مها الطرابيشى جالسة على حقائبها لا تعرف ماذا تفعل وغيرها الكثيرين. نشف ريقنا نقولكم هذا المسار بجزيرة الزمالك ذات الأرض الرخوة لا يصلح للمترو وقدمنا لكم تقارير الخبراء لإثبات هذا ولكنكم لم تعبءوا بكلامنا. ماذا تنتظرون؟ ان تقع الأبنية فوق رؤوسنا؟ لقد رفضنا المشروع فقمتم بتزوير امضاءاتنا وتلفيق تقرير تدعون فيه انه لن توجد أضرار على البيءة حتى تحصلوا على قرض من بنك الاستثمار الاوروبى. ولمن لا يعرف فان موافقة السكان على المشروع بالإضافة لتقرير ايجابى عن البيءة هما شرطين للخصول على قرض من هذا البنك فما كان من رءيس الحى الا وزور إمضاءات السكان. هكذا فعلت هيءة مترو الإنفاق. والآن وقد وقع الهبوط الارضى الكارثى … هل ستستمر هيءة المترو فى عنادها وتطربق الدنيا فوق راس باقى سكان الزمالك؟. وفى الصورة د مها الطرابيشى الأستاذة بجامعة ام اس أي وهى جالسة بجانب حقائبها لا تعرف اين ستذهب بعد اخلاء عمارتها. بهدلتوا الناس يا هيءة المترو.

Posted by Zizet Said on Sunday, July 26, 2020
One resident laments over the situation, stating that when they tried to warn of the dangers of the new metro extension, they were ridiculed and called classist.

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