Tue, 11/03/2009 - 15:00
Originally scheduled to inaugurate in 2010, and consequently delayed for another 18 years, the Transport Authority has publicly announced that construction of the new metro is so far ahead of schedule that Cairenes will enjoy rides “as early as the next democratic elections.”
The Homeland Organization of the People’s Project Authority (HOPPA) is an integral unit under the Transport Authority’s umbrella, and its function is to ensure efficiency, productivity, and human rights’ violations. The head of HOPPA, Obour El Nil, took the time between prayers to take EKT on a tour of the facilities.
Mr. Nil, who wasn't forthcoming until EKT handed him a crisp LE 200 bill, was humble enough to share the real story. He explained that in order to recruit the best of Egypt’s workforce, they had to tempt laborers with a lucrative monthly salary that is nearly over LE150. And to ensure a positive working environment, hours were flexible with a choice of 24 hours a day six days a week, or the more relaxed 20 hours every single day.
For the duration of the project workers were also granted free treatment (pending approval) at Kasr El Eini Hospital and would enjoy a lifetime metro discount paying LE1 per ride.
Mr. Nil, being well aware of the danger of slacking due to such generous offers, requested funding be taken out of the public education budget in order to bring 600 from state security to “politely” ask workers to maintain the highest level of productivity - without breaking the (emergency) law.
The new metro line will be light-years ahead of the current two. The former lacked ventilation (leading to pungent body odours that have claimed several young children over the years), placed unnecessary seats that occupied valuable space, and offered limited seating spots on top of the train. The latter, however, promises a traveling experience like never before. No longer will there be a lack of air or space, as the Transport Authority has completely removed the ceilings and seats.
Rumors of this success story have resulted in interest from the likes of Germany and Japan to lure the Egyptian government into offering them consultancy services.
“We failed to inaugurate Tokyo’s 36th metro line and it's already been two weeks since we started construction,” said Sekkatu Hadidato, Japan’s transportation minister, with a look of dismay. “The Egyptian authorities have assured me that they have the expertise and technology to finish the job efficiently," he said confidently, though also added, "But I don't understand why the Egyptian employees keep telling me, according to my translator, that I am kind each year, and also call me 'ba-sha' all the time.”
Mr. Hadidato is yet to meet an authority representative as he is still working on the paperwork to access the manager’s office.
Gone are the days of stereotypical inefficiency and bureaucracy of the Egyptian government. Cairenes, and indeed all Egyptians, can be proud of the biggest achievement since Egypt become a democratic republic upon the revolution of independence.