(ORDO NEWS) — New drone footage shows Saudi Arabia has begun excavations for its giant 170km skyscraper.
This is a project of an amazing and very controversial metropolis in the middle of the desert, which has already been called the city of the future.
Engineers have begun construction on a project called NEOM, which is planned to be built on a 168-kilometer straight line – hence its nickname “The Line”.
The project, according to statements from the kingdom at the time of the announcement, will be completely car-free and have zero emissions.
The footage, released by aerial photography company Ot Sky, shows the start of work in the Liniya metropolis under construction as part of the NEOM development in Saudi Arabia.
The construction of NEOM did not start without problems
The drone footage shared by architecture publication Dezeen shows a huge construction site where dozens of excavators are digging a deep and long trench of epic proportions.
But much darker things are happening behind the scenes, indicating that the project is already off to a rocky start.
Death penalty for refusal
For example, members of the Khuweitat tribe who refused to leave their homes to make way for development have been sentenced to death by the state, human rights group Alqst reported earlier this month.
The Saudi government confirmed earlier in October that three members of the tribe were sentenced to death in the country’s national anti-terrorism court for refusing to leave their homes when developers came to seize their land for the metropolis.
Embodiment of a dystopian future
While this sort of thing is far from new to Saudi Arabia, it is particularly dissonant that the country allows for human rights violations at this level while plotting what Vice magazine calls a “utopian fantasy.”
In addition to the glaring human rights issues, the project itself is, to put it mildly, extremely strange.
Although overly ambitious, the concept also seems strange from a logistical point of view: the planned height is higher than the Empire State Building, but the width is less than 213 meters.
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