Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 September 2020

Indian cities need to improve building inspections

Our readers have their say on the recent building collapse in India, working from home, science and Turkey

Members of the National Disaster Response Force during a rescue operation at the site of a building collapse in Raigad, Maharashtra, earlier in the week. EPA
Members of the National Disaster Response Force during a rescue operation at the site of a building collapse in Raigad, Maharashtra, earlier in the week. EPA

I write to you in reference to the article One dead and scores feared trapped after building collapses in western India (August 25): it filled me with sadness but also a sense of deja vu when I read the headline. Just last month, monsoon rains caused two deadly collapses in Mumbai. There have been far too many such stories over the past few years, despite there being laws in place to regulate the construction and maintenance of buildings in India’s urban centres.

The blame needs to be spread around – to architects and contractors who design and build these structures, and to inspectors tasked with making periodic checks. A lack of accountability, and perhaps even corruption, at municipal level needs to be tackled. Government must value human life more, and be cognisant of the material and financial losses incurred by such incidents.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Science focuses on disseminating facts, not fear-mongering

I write to you in reference to Jack Dutton’s article Coronavirus social distancing rules are 'based on outdated science' (August 26): it is good to see classifications that allow each one of us to assess our own risks. Science is all about knowledge and facts, and people should not read this article and get needlessly afraid.

Fabienne Cousin

Turkey should not deny anyone precious water

I write to you in reference to Liz Cookman’s article Syrians fear 'dying of thirst' as Turkey cuts water supply in north-east (August 25): water is the most important commodity for us, especially during a pandemic summer. This is shameful.

Muhannad Alblooshi

Work from home should not be the end goal

I write to you in reference to Fareed Rahman’s article GCC residents look for larger housing units as work from home gains traction (August 25):

since the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to stay with us until the middle or end of 2021, we need to understand its impact on the way we work. If employees are to work from home over the medium term, could they not be based in smaller towns where rentals and costs of living are lower?

Many companies might then ask themselves whether they need so many employees to come to the office every day. There could be an assessment of what jobs can be done from homes. This could impact pay.

It is also a fact that any productive activity requires face-to-face interaction. Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams have their limitations. So hopefully once the pandemic is behind us we can return to our offices, surrounded by our colleagues, exchanging thoughts and ideas across the table.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Updated: August 26, 2020 05:31 PM

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