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Egypt to establish 'city of Justice' in New Administrative Capital

This picture taken on March 13, 2020 shows an aerial view of ongoing construction development at Egypt's "New Administrative Capital" megaproject, some 45 kilometres east of Cairo [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
This picture taken on March 13, 2020 shows an aerial view of ongoing construction development at Egypt's "New Administrative Capital" megaproject, some 45 kilometres east of Cairo [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday ordered the establishment of a "City of Justice" in the New Administrative Capital within the vicinity of the governmental district.

The presidency said in a statement that Al-Sisi's orders had come "during his meeting with the Justice Minister Omar Marwan."

"The move is meant to achieve integration among symbols of the main authorities in the state executive, legislative and judicial authorities within one single geographic range entrenching pillars of the New Republic with all its components," the statement read.

The statement pointed out that the City of Justice would comprise "a central complex for courts, a centre for studies, and various other service facilities." "The government will also offer various housing for civil servants at the capital," the presidency explained.

The city is the most prominent of a series of mega-projects and infrastructure schemes pursued by Al-Sisi, who has said that its opening planned for later this year would mark the birth of a new republic, reports Reuters.Though government ministries are largely complete, other areas of the new city and transport links are still under construction. Some Egyptians worry it will be inaccessible and unaffordable for them.

The new city, known for now as the New Administrative Capital, is eventually expected to cover about 700 square kilometres. The first phase, covering about 168 square kilometres, will have ministries, residential neighbourhoods, a diplomatic quarter and a financial district. A large mosque and cathedral, as well as a hotel and conference centre, have already been built.

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With parks and tree-lined avenues, the city will consume an estimated 650,000 cubic metres a day of water from the North African nation's scarce resources.

The finished city is expected to house at least six million residents, its second and third phases largely residential.

That will take decades to complete, although the government will be able to function normally while construction goes on, said Amr Khattab, spokesman for the Housing Ministry which is responsible for executing parts of the city.

How far and how fast Egypt's centre of gravity shifts away from Cairo to the new capital 45 km from the Nile is unclear. For now, thousands of residential blocks stand empty either side of a highway leading into the new city.

The completion of the business district, yet to be marketed, is set for 2023.

Electric train and monorail links are under construction. The first 50,000 civil servants expected to relocate to the new capital will be offered shuttle buses to get there.

Around 5,000 out of 20,000 housing units have been sold in the first residential district expected to open in May, said Khattab.

Al-Sisi's office has previously announced 1.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($96 million) in incentives for civil servants selected to move to the city.

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