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