CAIRO: A tract of 2,300 acres has been allocated to the military in Dabaa, Matrouh to build an urban settlement for locals and for workers who will be deployed at a planned nuclear plant in the North Coast city, according to a Tuesday presidential statement.
The project was decided “in appreciation of Dabaa residents’ cooperation” with the state to pave the way for the nuclear project, which has been planned since the 1980s to generate a significant portion of the country’s power needs. Egypt’s delayed nuclear ambition began in the 1950s under the presidency of the late Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The settlement, where 1,500 housing units will be built in the Bedouin style, will provide integrated services, including infrastructure, a tourist area and a public beach, reported Youm7.
Some 500 families deserve compensation for giving up a 55-kilometer piece of land that will host the nuclear project, Mastour Boushkara, head of the Dabaa coordinating committee, told Tahrir channel in August. The families were displaced in 1981, per an order by late President Anwar Sadat, Boushkara said.
The locals, who argue that Sadat’s monetary compensation was not suitable, forcibly reclaimed the land in the aftermath of the January 25 Revolution in 2011. They agreed to give it to the military in September 2013 after talks with the then Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Representatives from China, South Korea, Japan, the U.S., France, and Russia have visited Egypt to offer their tenders to help establish the plant, which is set to begin operating in 2019.
Egyptian environmentalists have criticized the nuclear project and called on the government to begin “clean” renewable energy projects instead, such as solar and wind energy. Concerned activists have also accused the government of using “outdated” technologies to produce power, such as the use of coal at cement factories, which Egypt eventually adopted.