President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will officially open four tunnels beneath the new and old Suez Canals on 6 October, according to Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish.
The symbolic date will mark the anniversary of Egypt’s last battle with Israel in 1973.
Mamish praised the tunnels, claiming that linking the two sides of the canal through a tunnel instead of a bridge would eliminate concerns of terrorism, while cutting the time needed to cross the Suez Canal from “hours” to “four minutes”.
Previously, cars crossed through the Al Salam Bridge, which was constructed between 1995 and 2001 under then-president Hosni Mubarak. Following an increase in militant activity after President Mohammad Morsi’s ouster in 2013, the bridge was closed, thoroughly inspected, and reopened in 2016 after a revision of security procedures.
Relatedly, Mamish told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Sisi has instructed the Suez Canal Authority to dredge certain areas of the Nile river, deepening them after many vessels were stuck in the ground due to to the low level of water.
The Suez Canal Authority is also cleaning lakes in Egypt, to improve the quality of its fisheries.
Mamish hailed the policies of the Suez Canal Authority as “appropriate and successful”.
He remarked that the new canal has increased the total revenues of the Suez by LE25 billion, to reach LE 99.1 billion in the fiscal year 2017/2018.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm