SHAFAQNA -Â Egyptian authorities have announced a state of maximum alert in preparation for the opening of a new shipping route of the Suez Canal next month.
The flagship project, announced by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi last year, is scheduled to be officially opened on August 6.
â€œThe new canal will be completed on Friday,â€ Admiral Mohab Mameesh, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said in a statement.
Ahead of the planned opening, Egyptian security forces have launched a combing operation in areas adjacent to the new shipping route, according to eyewitnesses and security sources.
â€œSecurity forces and chieftains of Bedouin tribes are coordinating to secure [the area],â€ a security source said.
According to the source, security forces have been checking residents and visitors of areas close to the canal.
â€œEquipment being used in the canal is going through strict security measures before being allowed into the area,â€ the source said.
Local authorities in Ismailia province on the canalâ€™s west bank, meanwhile, have begun to beautify the area around the Suez Canal.
Meanwhile, the canal authority has launched an online platform to allow the public to send â€œthank youâ€ messages to the workers of the new shipping route.
â€œThe workers of the canal have demonstrated such resilience over the past 12 months by showing the world what can be achieved when a nation comes together and works toward a common goal,â€ Mameesh said.Â â€œFor this reason, as well as many others, they truly deserve to be thanked for their efforts.â€
The project is part of an ambitious plan by the Egyptian authorities to turn the area around the Suez Canal into an industrial and commercial hub.
Egyptian authorities say the project will double Egyptâ€™s annual Suez Canal earnings from a current $5.3 billion to $13 billion.