The Administrative Court today blocked an attempt to seize prime land in an area of Cairo that is currently the site of informal housing.
The case was lodged against the prime minister, Cairo governor and head of the board of the Slums Development Fund, after the governor issued a decree in 2011 ordering that the triangular piece of land known as Ramlet Bulaq, located behind the luxury City Stars complex on the Nile in central Cairo, be seized.
The decree was issued pursuant to a deal reached between the Slums Development Fund and the governor to develop the area, classified by the fund as unsafe and unfit for inhabitation. It also stated that the land was owned by the state. In a statement issued today, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) – one of the groups that filed the case against the decree – says that this has been contradicted by the government’s own lawyer, who told the court that the land is privately owned.
According to ECESR, no details have been released about the plan to develop the land. “This raises questions about the true intentions for the area, especially given the pressure residents are under to leave their homes,” ECESR says in its statement.
In addition to these pressures, ECESR notes that the government has failed to provide basic infrastructure services in the area.