Saturday,23 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1397, (7 - 20 June 2018)
Saturday,23 February, 2019
Issue 1397, (7 - 20 June 2018)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Zoo to remain in Giza

GIZA Zoo will not be moving to the New Administrative Capital, according to Mohamed Ragaai, head of the Central Department of Zoology, knocking down rumours on social media.

“The zoo is registered as a monument in Giza for its historical and cultural heritage as it is over 100 years old. Hence, the news about transferring it to another place is totally untrue,” Ragaai said in media statements.

Ragaai said he did not know the source of the rumour which has spread in the past couple of days, but he believed it originated from businessmen “who are eyeing the zoo’s land” to invest in it.

During the past few days, activists and social media users reacted angrily to news that the zoo will be transferred to the New Administrative Capital, about 60 kilometres away from Cairo.

Giza Zoo is the second oldest in the world, built by Khedive Tawfik in 1871. It covers 86 feddans (one feddan equals 1.038 acres), and has more than 8,000 animals and birds as well as rare trees and ancient buildings.

Head of the General Authority for Veterinary Services Ibrahim Mahrous told the media that a new zoo should not come at the expense of the Giza Zoo which must remain in place. “It is documented by the Ministry of Antiquities as an archaeological site,” Mahrous said, in addition to its unique geographical location.

“It is possible to build another zoo in the New Administrative Capital using the latest modern methods. However, there is still no official decision for such a new zoo,” Mahrous said.

Al-Warraq’s new community

THE NEW Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) now has the authorisation to build a new community on the Nile’s Al-Warraq Island, according to a decree by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail published in the official gazette.

Article 2 of the decree stipulates that all government entities must hand over any documents concerning land ownership and transactions over the island to the NUCA within a month.

The decree comes nearly a year after angry demonstrations by the island’s residents broke out over claims they were being forcefully evicted from the island to build a new real estate project. The government back then responded by stressing that it was not seeking the eviction of the residents but was developing the island.

Al-Warraq island lies opposite Shubra Al-Kheima. It covers 1,400 feddans and has an estimated population of 90,000. It has three schools, a public hospital, police station, dozens of mosques and a church. No bridge connects it to the banks of the Nile, leaving islanders to depend on five ferries.

Last year, Kamel Al-Wazir, head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, held meetings with the residents of the island to reassure those who lose property under the development plan that they would receive financial compensation or new homes in social housing projects. According to Al-Wazir, affected residents will receive LE1,300 for each metre of land or alternative accommodation in social housing projects in Moqattam.

Plans to develop Al-Warraq involve the demolition of all buildings within 30 metres of the shore and within 100 metres of the Rod Al-Farag Axis road which bisects the island to make way for a sewage network, water station and a network of paved roads. The army will take charge of the plan.

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