MP asks Egypt’s PM to cancel newly imposed entrance fees on Ahl Masr Walkway

Ahmed Kadry, Wednesday 20 Jul 2022

Member of Parliament Mohamed Saad El-Samoudi submitted a briefing request on Wednesday for Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El-Gazzar, calling to cancel the newly imposed entrance fees on Ahl Masr Walkway (Mamsha Ahl Masr).

Ahl Masr Walkway
Ahl Masr Walkway on the banks of the Nile River in Cairo. Photo: Al-Ahram

 

“The initial goal of the project was to improve the quality of life of Egyptian citizens as a fully equipped park for Egyptians that’s free of charge,” El-Samoudi said, citing Madbouly’s remarks during the opening ceremony of the walkway.

Visitors of Ahl Masr Walkway, which was opened in March on the banks of the Nile, were faced with EGP 20 entrance fees following the Eid El-Adha holidays.

El-Samoudi went on to explain that a five-person family would have to pay EGP 100 just to access the walkway, calling on Madbouly to reassess this decision and cancel the entrance fees.

Moreover, Khaled Ali, prominent human rights lawyer and activist, also announced on Wednesday that his office has filed a lawsuit against the PM, housing minister, and the Urban Communities Authority, demanding the cancellation of the fees that were imposed on the promenade.

Ali and El-Samoudi’s responses came as a result of a recent controversy stirred on social media platforms as a result of circulated photos for the new released tickets of the walkway.

Earlier on Monday and Tuesday, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Housing Amr Khattab, however, justified the decision in various TV phone-ins by saying that these fees would go towards maintenance, which is a necessity to fight vandalism, and that “it is limited to a certain area within the walkway.”

He also clarified that they have been receiving numerous complaints about vandalism in the bottom section, as well as photographs that showcase a lack of discipline on the promenade.

Furthermore, Khattab revealed that the returns from the entrance fees will be invested in contracts with security and maintenance firms for the project.

He reassured Egyptians that, due to the change in plans of having to implement entrance fees, utilities and kiosks have been added to the upper section, such as fast-food restaurants.

The first phase of the walkway — which was opened in March — is located along the eastern bank of the Nile River, stretching from the 15 May Bridge to Imbaba Bridge with a total length of 1,800 metres.

Also, the upper walkway is 4.5 metres wide and exhibits natural green scenery, including 260 palm trees, 235 miscellaneous trees, and other small plants.

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