Fresh round of negotiations between army and Warraq residents

Head of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, Major General Kamel al-Wazeer, is set to meet with the residents of Al-Warraq Island this week in an attempt to resolve the ongoing property crisis.

MPs and engineers responsible for the plans to develop the island will attend the meeting, which aims to educate the residents on the project and change their minds.

MP of Warraq, Ahmed Youssef, said in a statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm on Friday that the meeting will focus on reversing residents’ objections, allowing the endangering authority to evacuate the area along the island and demolish all the buildings for a walkway.

Another MP for Warraq, Mahmoud al-Sa’edy, said that the development project includes a number of stages with developments that will ultimately benefit the people.

He added that schools, a hospital and a police office will be built on the island, as well as an internal road and sewage network.

Sa’edy pointed out that the residents will be informed during the meeting whose homes will be within the development areas, and they will be compensated in three different ways.

The affected residence will receive financial compensation, at current prices for land and buildings, the same land area of their current home in the new residential area, and a new housing unit in any area in Egypt.

Violent clashes erupted in July between the residents of the island and police forces, whom were overseeing demolition orders for buildings illegally established on state land ahead of a development project. One man was killed and 44 injured.

A number of development designs for Warraq, prepared by an Egyptian and a Emirati-Singaporean contracting company, went viral following the clashes.

Al-Masry Al-Youm verified the circulated photos, confirming they belong to Emirati-Singaporean company RSP and local firm Cube Architects. The two companies published photos of the sketches for the Warraq Island development project on their official websites.

The Egyptian government contracted to develop the land with RSP on March 31, 2013, according to the company website.

The Housing Ministry denied that there were any contracts between the two companies and the ministry, stressing the absence of any negotiations or consultations with them.

Edited Translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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