CAIRO: A total of 28,000 feddans are “illegally seized” by citizens in 12 cities, but the government will show “utmost flexibility” to legalize the ownership, according to a Wednesday government statement.
The “looted lands” are part of a strategic plan to launch new urban communities, head of the General Authority for Reconstruction Projects and Agricultural Development (GARPAD) Ayman el-Meadawy said at a meeting with presidential assistants for national projects and counterterrorism Ibrahim Mahlab and Ahmed Gamal el-Deen.
In February, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi formed a committee to recover looted lands, including the three aforementioned officials and Local Development Minister Ahmed Zaky Badr.
Mahlab emphasized that pricing the seized lands should not be “exaggerated,” because some of the people on the plots were “victims of fraud.”
Such people will deal with the committee directly without having to get back to the original seller, who will be pursued by the authorities to be sued, according to the statement.
Especially in desert areas, some locals sell plots of lands to other citizens without government papers; upon which the new owners build or farm. Some of the buyers were not aware the seller did not own the land at the time of sale.
The government, however, has launched campaigns to recover lands from squatters, a practice that went rampant after the January 25 Revolution in 2011.