* Admissibility date reflects the date the case was officially registered. All other dates pertain to the date in which a stage was completed.
In November 2012, the EIB Complaints Mechanism (EIB-CM) received emails from several individuals expressing objections to the construction works related to the expansion of the Cairo Metro Line in the Zamalek Island, Cairo, Egypt. Initially, the EIB-CM had received 33 complaints. Subsequently, the EIB-CM received additional emails from residents of Zamalek in support of the original complaint and with similar petitions than the original complainants.
The project Cairo Metro Line (Phase 3) consists of the expansion of the existing metro line of Cairo. Phase 3 of this expansion involves the construction of 17.4 km of railways, and 15 stations. The design of the metro line includes a station in the Ismail Mohamed Street, in the Northern part of the Zamalek Island.
The complainants have presented several allegations. First, they contest the effectiveness of the public consultation held by the promoter; secondly, they express their disagreement with the route of the metro line and the location - in the Ismail Mohamed Street - chosen for the station; regarding the design of the metro line and the location of the station, the complainants have presented several alternatives to the route proposed by NAT; in addition, the complainants allege that the Bank has failed to adequately assess the disturbances resulting from the construction works and the associated mitigation measures; similarly, they allege that the Bank has failed to assess and provide adequate mitigation measures for risks associated with the construction works such as vibrations and the risk of the collapse of buildings. The complainants have also expressed their concerns on several other issues related to the future operation of the metro, such as social intrusion in the island, harassment of female users of the metro, loss of business and management of the flow of pedestrians associated to the metro station.
The EIB-CM has performed an Initial Assessment based on a desk review of the available information, meetings with the concerned services and a fact-finding mission to Cairo where it met with the complainants and the promoter in April 2013.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The Initial Assessment Report (IAR) revealed that the complainants’ allegations were not grounded. In particular, the EIB-CM concluded that the design of the metro line and the reasons behind the selection of the metro station in Ismail Mohamed Street were based on relevant studies that investigated different alternatives. The EIB-CM, however, believes that these studies need to be better explained to the residents of Zamalek. Therefore, one of the key proposals made by the EIB-CM was to facilitate the discussion of these issues between the project promoter and the complainants. The complainants subsequently rejected EIB-CM's proposal for facilitation and the EIB-CM proceeded to close the case.
The EIB-CM also recommended to the Bank’s services to follow-up with the promoter and the Bank’s operational team the implementation of the IAR recommendations, including the need to ensure (i) that the tender documents address satisfactorily the complainants concerns, (ii) the need to carry out a survey of the estate of the constructions along the Ismail Mohamed street before start of works, and (iii) the setting up and implementation of a Grievance Mechanism by NAT, amongst others. Concerning point (iii) the EIB-CM has proposed to assist NAT in the setting up and future implementation of the said grievance mechanism.
The complaint was escalated to the European Ombudsman who dismissed the case based on the findings and recommendations made by the EIB-CM.
EIB-CM Follow up
Concerning the implementation of the recommendations stated in the Initial Assessment Report of September 2013, EIB-CM started the consultancy works to support the promoter’s efforts to set up the foundations of its own Grievance Mechanism. This assignment was finalised in 2015.