x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

UAE labourers seek shelter from the storm, but not from danger

Hiding from railfall showed lax approach to safety, writes a reader. Other views: Emiratis should have the right to be taught in Arabic at university; tyres should come with dump levy, reaction to carpark prices, instability in Iraq and Pervez Musharraf treason trial.

Construction workers seek shelter from the rain under a bus in Dubai. A reader observes that it demonstrates poor attention to the safety of workers and urges a safer approach to the welfare of labourers. Photo: Sarah Dea / The National
Construction workers seek shelter from the rain under a bus in Dubai. A reader observes that it demonstrates poor attention to the safety of workers and urges a safer approach to the welfare of labourers. Photo: Sarah Dea / The National

Your coverage of the recent rainfall (In pictures: Rain sweeps across the UAE, January 8) was very good.

This is especially so for the one taken by Sarah Dea of a group of workers taking shelter under a parked bus on a construction site. This will stand out in my mind for a long time – mostly because it is scary from the point of view of health and safety.  

What would have happened if the driver rushed to the vehicle and reversed it? This photo highlights the shortcomings in safety procedures that can be found on some work sites in the UAE.

I hope those involved in this site will take appropriate action about the hidden-danger aspect involved in such cases and prevent accidents of the kind that could have happened here through the casual approach towards safety demonstrated in the photograph.

Let our motto for 2014 be this one: Safety first.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Arabic should be university option

Your story, FNC to quiz minister about abolishing university prepatory year (January 6), about the Federal National Council’s call for the abolition of foundation years at the three federally-funded universities in the UAE, has been heard before.

I believe the FNC has a renewed authority to reclaim the rightful place of the national language, Arabic, in its institutions of higher education.

However, this does not imply that English should be set aside. On the contrary, English needs to sit comfortably alongside Arabic in the same way French does in Quebec.

I believe all Emiratis have an undeniable right to study in higher education using their first language of Arabic.

Peter Hatherley-Greene, Dubai

Tyres should come with a dump levy

With regard to your editorial, Deposit rules could improve recycling rates in the UAE (January 12), this is is a great idea.

As someone who is a consultant in recycling of tyres and plastic, I believe consumers should take charge of the disposal and recycling of their trash.

Hopefully soon there will be a fee levied on car and truck tyres, which can be collected from tyre importers and then used to pay for companies that deal with worn-out tyres, such as collectors, hauliers and dump operators.

Walid Hikmat, Ras Al Khaimah

Dh125,000 for a parking space?

With regard to your story, Single parking space in Dubai can cost Dh125,000 (January 12), the reality is that there is absolutely no shortage of parking spaces in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, so the shortage of available parking spaces has been artificially manufactured.

Some of these buildings have dozens and dozens of available parking spaces that they won’t even let you rent, because they are for purchase only.

The only reason I can think about what is driving all this is greed.

Gavin McKessock, Dubai

It is not just profit-seeking behind these car park prices. I believe poor planning also plays a part.

In Media City, the top four floors of the multi-storey car park are now for permit holders only.

Only the bottom two floors are for pay-and-display users, and this is massively oversubscribed and packed, while the top four floors are virtually empty.This shows that perhaps we need to rethink the way parking is organised.

Brett Pearson, Abu Dhabi

When will Iraqis get real freedom?

Your story, Iraqi troops clash with Al Qaeda in Anbar (January 11), was good to read.

For the past few months, Iraqis have witnessed many attacks, with high numbers of casualities, which is sad and unjustifiable.

Iraqis have still not got freedom. The inability to live a normal life is the reality on the ground. It is painful to see this ongoing nightmare for the Iraqis. When will this scenario change?

K Ragavan, India

Medical file leak shows ‘vendetta’

It is unethical that the special treason tribunal has allowed Pervez Musharraf’s confidential medical report to be leaked to the media.

This is a very sad reflection on the judiciary, which I believe made this public.

It is unheard of in civilised countries and indicates the vendetta against Mr Musharraf.

Nuzhat Zia, Dubai

The special tribunal decided on its own on January 10 that it has the jurisdiction to apply criminal laws on an accused in military uniform.

Under the Constitution and The Army Act 1973,  a soldier can only be tried by a Court Martial.

Name withheld by request