Nile barges will be banned from passing through Cairo from sunset to sunrise until the end of September, according to a Sunday decree by Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab.
Mahlab also ordered a halt to issuing new licenses for marine and Nile cargo, as well prohibiting the use of loud music amplifiers used by passenger boats, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.
The decisions were made during a meeting early Sunday attended by Mahlab, the ministers of transport, environment, irrigation, interior and justice to review legislation applicable to management of the Nile River, after a chartered boat with 35 passengers capsized after it collided with a cargo ship near Al-Warraq district in Giza Wednesday.
The cabinet has agreed to review river transport legislation, stiffen penalties for violators, and ensure that all river boats adhere to the rules set, of which passengers wearing life jackets is a must.
The cabinet also advised the Ministry of Irrigation to coordinate with governors and prepare a comprehensive safety inventory covering waterways all around the country, to be submitted to the cabinet within a week.
An extensive campaign targeting all riverbound vessels aiming to prevent “illegal and unwanted behaviours,” inspect and review drivers, as well as fine on the spot violations, will be launched by the interior ministry in coordination with the environment ministry.
The cabinet also instructed the transport ministry and Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport to prepare a short and long term plan that includes executive programmes to develop the Nile transportation system, where the government will then adopt the plan as a national project.
Mahlab ordered Friday the temporary suspension of the chief of the river transport bureau, which operates under the transport ministry, and the head of the rivers bureau, which is under the interior ministry, 48 hours after the Nile boat collision.
The cabinet will issue LE60,000 in compensation to families of all deceased, and also will treat all injured from the incident at the state's expense, according to cabinet spokesperson Hossam Qawish.