550 ramshackle buildings spotted in Beheira: Spox
Building collapses in Egypt's coastal governorate of Beheira, Dec.23, 2015 - YOUM7

CAIRO: A total of 550 ramshackle buildings have been spotted in the coastal governorate of Beheira, Youm7 quoted governorate’s spokesperson Wahdan el-Sayed as saying Thursday.

Police reports have been filed about the dangerous buildings; however, their demolition will not be carried out until final judicial verdicts are reached.

According to panels comprising architects and members of local units, many of the buildings in the governorate are dilapidated and are of extreme danger to the residents. The committee is carrying out an inventory to the old buildings in the governorate.

“These properties cannot be demolished at once, but only after obtaining a court ruling, which will take long time up to several years…this chains the hands of the municipalities in implementing decisions,” Saad Ghorab, head of Damanhur city in Beheira told Youm7.

On Wednesday, Damanhur has witnessed a sudden collapse of a five-story building due to ongoing demolition work in an adjacent building. The accident caused the death of a 61-year old man.

Last week, a 37-year-old policeman was killed in Upper Egypt’s Asyut after a building collapsed as he was accidentally crossing in front of it. At least four died after a ramshackle building collapsed in Asyut in September.

Commonly recurring in Egypt, the phenomenon of building collapses is mostly blamed on building laws, lack of government oversight, corruption, poor maintenance and failing to follow global construction standards, according to a 2014 survey by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR.)

Between July 2012 and June 2013, 392 residential buildings collapsed, resulting in 192 deaths, according to the EIPR survey.

Cairo governorate has recently begun relocating residents of Tal el-Aqareb district to 6 of October city, to undertake renovations to the district that was identified as dangerous. Some 50 families out of 531 have been displaced thus far.

Additional reporting by Maged Tamraz, and Nasser Gouda and Gamal Abu el-Fadl from Beheira.

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