CAIRO – 19 February 2018: Parliament’s Housing Committee discussed on Monday a draft law on reconciliation in some building violations after it had been approved by the Parliament.
The head of the Housing, Public Utilities and Reconstruction Committee Moataz Mahmoud said that the draft law will be considered with the concerned ministries and entities, adding that they are scheduled to reach a decision on the draft law inMonday’s meeting.
The draft law comes within the framework of legal and practical solutions to the problem of building violations, recently causing collapsing buildings, to combat the phenomenon of cases related to building violations.
The draft law stipulates reconciliation in the acts committed in violating the law governing the building, including the case of change of use of the building.
The draft law aims to preserve and protect architectural and archaeological heritage and organize measures of reconciliation.
Under the draft law, building violations could be reconciled with exception for acts that violate construction safety and facilities of distinctive architectural styles. Infringements include the approved regulatory lines and the statutory heights rights as well as building on state owned land and agricultural land or land subjected to the law on the Protection of Antiquities.
To consider the reconciliation request and issue a decision in this regard, a technical committee shall be formed in each concerned administrative authority, and be led by civil and architectural engineers, who are accredited at the administrative authority, along with a representative from the Interior Ministry.
The reconciliation shall be submitted to the concerned administrative authority at a date no later than three months from the draft law’s executive regulations that would determine the fees for reconciliation.
According to the Article 2, the committee shall inspect the violated site in order for the two engineers to prepare a report about the safety of building and the other necessary documents to take a decision on the reconciliation issue in a date not later than four months after submitting the required reconciliation papers.
All the receipts, in accordance to the draft law, shall be sent to the state’s public treasury, of which 15 percent will be specialized in development acts, establishing infrastructure projects and social housing and 5 percent shall go to the committee members.
Recent collapsing buildings highlight the longtime problem of the construction business across Egypt due to poor maintenance, violations of building codes, and illegal extensions and constructions. 2017 witnessed several collapsed of buildings, killing 15 people and injured 55 others.
The latest tragedy happened because of construction violations on three residential buildings in the central Cairo district of Rod al-Farag in December. The initial collapse of one of the buildings resulted in the crumbling of the two adjacent buildings due to poor infrastructure, leaving two people dead, including a four-year-old girl, and another seven injured.
To combat this phenomenon, the Egyptian Parliament has discussed the unified construction law No. 119 during a meeting held on July 18, 2016 to submit amendments to the law. The law is aimed at those who violate the license and build illegal constructions by imposing fines, prison sentences or higher utilities tariffs.
Besides the illegal constructions, Egypt is plagued by unplanned construction and poor infrastructure. There are 400 areas of unplanned housing, with a population in excess of 7 million.