Egypt accepts proposed development plan

March 1, 2011 at 8:57 PM
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BOSTON, March 1 (UPI) -- Egypt's interim government has adopted a U.S. geologist's plan for a "Desert Development Corridor" in the country as a flagship program, officials say.

The plan, researched and created by Boston University geologist Farouk El-Baz, would include construction along 750 miles of an eight-lane superhighway, a railway, a water pipeline and a power line, a BU release reported Tuesday.

The development corridor would open new land for urban development, commerce, agriculture, tourism and related jobs by installing new infrastructure in an undeveloped area of desert running parallel to the Nile River Valley and Delta, El-Baz says.

The Egyptian-born El-Baz has been researching Egypt's deserts for decades, using satellite imagery, and originally proposed the plan to the Egyptian government in 1985.

Following the recent revolution, El-Baz traveled to Egypt to meet with government leaders and explain the plan, intended to reinvigorate the country and expand the living space near the banks of the Nile River.

"This project includes opening up a vast strip of Egypt just west of the narrow living area along the Nile that can be utilized in establishing housing communities, expanding agriculture, initiating industrial compounds, and enhancing the potential of tourism," El-Baz said.

El-Baz has suggested the project be run by an internationally recognized board of trustees and initial funding should be sought from bonds to be offered to the Egyptian people -- the "owners" of the project, he said.

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