Egypt has received 1.18 mln reconciliation requests for building violations: Minister

Ahram Online , Friday 18 Sep 2020

The new figure is up from 1.1 million reconciliation requests submitted until last week, where the state said it has collected approximately EGP 6.9 billion (around $437.7 million) in reconciliation fees

Reconciliation requests
Citizens submit reconciliation requests over building violations at a designated center (Photo courtesy of local development ministry)

The Egyptian government has received 1.18 million reconciliation requests for building violations nationwide, Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy said on Friday.

Around 320 centres have been designated to receive the requests, he said.

The new figure is up from 1.1 million reconciliation requests submitted by last week, when officials said the state had collected approximately EGP 6.9 billion ($437.7 million) in reconciliation fees.

A law passed this year allows a limited period of time for building owners to reconcile with the government over a variety of illegal building practices, on payment of fees.

The fees will be allocated for development in governorates and to upgrade the levels of services provided to citizens, Shaarawy said.

Officials announced a series of discounts on the fees recently ranging from 20 to 70 percent, depending on the governorate, with Cairo seeing higher discounts.

Discounts ranging from 15 to 25 percent on fees in new cities have also been announced.

Officials have stressed in the past weeks the adoption of “resolute” measures to stop building violations on agricultural land nationwide.

The country has seen a significant rise in illegal construction since the security vacuum that followed the 2011 uprising, with many people constructing multi-storey buildings without acquiring the necessary permits or complying with engineering safety standards.

It lost up to 400,000 feddans of land between 1980 and 2011, and an additional 90,000 feddans in the past nine years, to building violations and land encroachments.

Unplanned buildings constitute about 50 percent of the urban clusters in villages and cities countrywide, according to officials.

In January, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified a law allowing settlement with the state over building violations, except for those pertaining to safety standards, authorised height or purpose, historic buildings, among others.

The law sets a six-month deadline, since extended, to put an end to violations in the country.

In August, El-Sisi criticised building violations on agricultural land in a heated speech, warning that he would deploy the military if the problem persists.

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