Daqahliya Governorate closes Shagaret al-Dorr park amid popular opposition

Egyptian cabinet authorities oppose a recent Daqahliya Governorate decision to close the Shagaret al-Dorr park, located at Mansoura, after its land was proven to be owned by the Public Authority for Project Construction and Agricultural Development (PAPCAD). The decision calls for the park to be put up for a public auction for commercial and tourism use.

Being the only green space available, the decision has also fueled opposition from Mansoura residents.

According to two letters sent by the Nile Development and Protection Sector–affiliated to the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation–to the housing ministry deputy, on 3 and 9 November respectively, the park land was revealed to be government property.

“All projects set to take place at the Shagaret al-Dorr garden must be licensed by the supreme committee for Nile licenses.” said the two letters. “All necessary procedures must be taken by the governorates’ apparatuses. No projects would be carried out before getting licensed.”

Mamdouh Fouda, chairman of a neighboring club, filed a lawsuit against the governorate demanding a stop to the auction. Fouda said the land spreads over an area of 42 feddans and 22 karates owned by PAPCAD.

In 2007, according to Fouda, PAPCAD approved the allocation of 4 unused feddans of the park for expanding the club after paying obligatory fees.

MP al-Arabi Shama requested an urgent early day motion to the prime minister to discuss the decision. Shama accused the governor of wasting public money.

Salah abdel Aziz, advisor, said the park is a Mansoura landmark and a popular location for holiday events and feasts. Schools at the countryside also organize trips to the park. Abdel Aziz described the club as one of public use for those who can’t afford access to other social clubs.

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