Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated on Sunday the Adly Mansour metro station as part of the fourth phase of developing the third line of the Cairo Metro.
The Adly Mansour station is one of the major central stations that will connect the New Administrative Capital with all the country's cities and governorates.
The station, which is named after the country's former interim president Adly Mansour (2013-2014), includes a full-service transport complex and a commercial investment zone on a total area of 15 feddans.
It will connect five different modes of transportation countrywide: the third metro line, the electric train route, a railway station, a SuperJet station, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Work on the fourth phase of the third line began in July 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
The inauguration event was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, former interim president Mansour and a number of ministers and state officials.
During the event, El-Sisi said, "His Excellency the [former] president [Adly Mansour] is a great patriotic figure, whose role was great in one of the most difficult stages in Egypt's history."
He also thanked the government for the "great efforts" it exerted to implement developmental ventures in all sectors amid challenges facing the state, and called for unity to confront these challenges.
The president added that the sums spent to develop state sectors such as education, transport, and electricity have reached nearly EGP 1 trillion.
"This means that the work accomplished and the funding spent have been huge. That means the state is keen on developing all sectors that affect people's lives in the shortest possible time," he added.
The president also stressed that the country does not focus its developmental projects only on the bigger governorates, adding that "we are working on all provinces."
The government is implementing a project to develop the facilities of the 100 neediest villages across Egypt, he stressed.
El-Sisi instructed Transportation Minister El-Wazir to set the appropriate prices for railway and metro services to ensure the continued efficient operation of the services’ facilities, hinting at an increase in transportation fares, especially since a major part of the new projects’ costs was provided through external loans.
“The projects implemented in the railway and the metro are all funded by loans. We are not asking you to repay the loans or their interests. We just need to maintain the efficiency of the facilities…We want to take from citizens what ensures the [continued] efficiency of the facilities,” the president said, adding that “we don’t have another option.”
El-Sisi said that citizens have been experiencing some difficulties and increased costs in transportation; therefore, the prices of services should be fixed to allow new projects to function.
The president also stressed that the fares of train services will not be increased before implementing a full renewal of facilities by upgrading the efficiency of tractors, carriages and the railway itself.
“Starting next year, there will not be a tractor or carriage that will not see its efficiency upgraded. Otherwise, we will not be able to ask you to [bear] the cost of increased operating expenses,” he said.
Speaking about the coronavirus pandemic in Egypt, the president said the country has achieved success in facing the crisis and that the rate of infection has started to decline.
However, he said that citizens should still adhere to all precautions, particularly with the advent of the winter season and the school year.
After concluding his remarks, El-Sisi asked former interim president Mansour to lay the foundation stone of the inaugurated station. The president and Mansour then took a short ride on the expanded metro line.
‘Artery of development’
Speaking at the inauguration event, Prime Minister Madbouly described the transport sector as "the artery of development" in the country.
"The country has suffered from an imbalance in the urban map until 2014 due to its inability to accommodate overpopulation in the past years," he said, adding that new road projects are among the most important requirements for implementing development plans.
The 2052 urban development plan, which aims to increase urban areas nationwide, will be completed within years, Madbouly explained.
Egypt has jumped 90 global positions in the road sector, now ranking 28th in the world, he said.
The annual average of building new roads in the country has risen from 270 km to 1,150 km annually, he added.
New transportation, road projects
Meanwhile, Minister of Transportation Kamel-El-Wazir said that the government has completed 7,000 km of new roads at a cost of EGP 175 billion.
The government is carrying out projects in the transport section at a cost of EGP 6.6 trillion, he explained, adding that 174 railway stations have been developed.