Opinion 2016

Taxi ranks would make life easier for commuters

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It has become extremely difficult to find a taxi in Abu Dhabi in the mornings.

Many commuters have to wait for more than 30 minutes to find a taxi. Added to this problem is the absolute lack of discipline because there is no queuing system.

As people wait in the sun, you can hear their frustrations and sometimes see heated arguments.

I hope the authorities can increase the number of taxis on the road during peak hours. It would also be appreciated if they could implement dedicated taxi ranks with shelters throughout the city.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Letters to the editor: The National Dt 30 September 2016Taxi rank.jpg

Call for more visible policing on UAE roadways

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The observation by Traffic Safety experts are true and actual. A certain share of drivers are relaxed on the traffic violation punishments measures enforced through electronic media such as radars and surveillance cameras. Obviously they form the majority in creating dangerous road situations. It was not the case previously. There used to be police patrol in car and motorbikes. They come from nowhere and drivers used to be alert about such presence and avoid neglecting the road safety rules. Fear of punishment is an important factor to deter dangerous driving.

I feel therefore that there should be intermittent presence by Police on all the major roads to show their physical presence and ensure safe driving practices are followed.
In addition, weather conditions will change soon to foggy mornings very soon. An occasional presence of patrol cars posted on the major highways will definitely deter dangerous driving during the foggy season ahead so that we do not have any traffic calamities.

Children should be taught from a young age to follow the rules. Co-passengers in public and private vehicles should remind and warn those drivers who ignore the safety of others. Let patience and safe driving sense prevail on our roads. Continuous campaign to remind the drivers of following the safety driving practices is the need for the hour.

Letters to the National on:

Experts call for more visible policing on UAE roadways

Shine a light on E10 roadworks

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The continuing roadworks on the E10 from Shahama to Abu Dhabi are creating confusion, especially near the airport.

There is poor lighting in this area, where the road narrows yet many drivers continue to speed.

There is no signage to advise drivers to reduce their speed, adding to the dangerous driving situation.

 I hope that the authorities will place adequate warning signs and increase the lighting in this area.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Letters to the Editor: The National Dt 22 August 2016

Fast forward for Abu Dhabi Emergency Service vehicles

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The move by Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport to introduce emergency vehicle priority system that allows civil defence, ambulance and rescue services to send signals to lights as they approach them is meant to improve efficiency of emergency rescue operations in Abu Dhabi.

Many times I have witnessed, the emergency service vehicles from Ambulance and Fire services stuck and waiting for way to move ahead at the tip of the traffic junctions.

This may be either due to an ongoing flow of vehicle, which they are unable to intercept or even some who initiate a move even after seeing these emergency vehicles blocking them. They are clueless as to what exactly they should do.

With this improvisation of technology, if the emergency services vehicles can control the signals and block the traffic to continue and make their passage easy, there will be minimal waste of time due to obstructions.

More awareness to be created for the knowledge of all road users how to react when one is on the road ahead of emergency vehicles in such situations. This will definitely prove to be a an efficient traffic safety step.

Mind Speaks on the news in The National:

Emergency crews may control traffic lights at Abu Dhabi intersections

Scholarship by Dubai Health Authority to boost medical education in Dubai

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The initiative by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to sponsor emirati medical students with  Dh6,500 monthly grant, if they do a major in medicine and Dh5,000 per month if they want to continue studies in the field of paramedics and nursing is great!. 130 students are set to benefit from “Sponsoring Emiratis in the Medical Sector Programme.”.

Recent study news that came out in the regional press stated that GCC students place less importance to STEM subjects and this scholarship will definitely attract more students to take up medical education.

Medical education, unlike other, takes a longer period for students to complete and settle in and be financially self-sufficient and thus create less interest among students. This is obvious from DHA’s Annual Health Statistical Report for 2015, showing a total of 1,612 Emiratis currently working in the medical sector in Dubai. Category-wise statistics says 276 physicians, 106 dentists, 50 nurses, 29 pharmacists are working in Dubai hospitals and primary health centres.

Mind Speaks on the news in Khaleej Times: Dh6,500 monthly grant, job for Emirati medical students

70th Independence Day -Be Humane, Hi-tech & Happy

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Mind Speaks - Independence Day.jpgPresident Pranab Mukherjee addressed the nation on the eve of our 70th Independence Day. Here are some of the top quotes from his address:

  1. May our studies be brilliant; may there be no hostility amongst us; may there be Peace Peace Peace.
  2. We are in the process of forging new relationships based on shared values and mutual benefit with all countries.
  3. India’s focus in foreign policy will remain on peaceful co-existence & harnessing tech & resources for eco development.
  4. I respectfully bow to the heroes of independence struggle who fought & sacrificed their lives to win freedom.
  5. India will grow, only when all of India grows; the excluded ones have to be included in the development process.
  6. It is much more important to look to the future; it is time to join hands to cooperate, innovate and advance.
  7. We often celebrate the achievements of our ancient past but it would be wrong to rest on our laurels.
  8. We should promote scientific temper by questioning our beliefs which aren’t compatible with scientific way of thinking.
  9. Passage of GST bill is reason enough to celebrate our democratic maturity.
  10. World has witnessed a spate of terror activities having their roots in radicalization of people on basis of religion. These forces pose a danger to entire comity of nations; world will have to fight them unconditionally & in one voice.
  11. Attacks on weaker sections that militate against our national ethos are aberrations that need to be dealt with firmly.
  12. Disruptions, obstructionism & unmindful pursuit of divisive political agenda lead to institutional travesty
  13. We cannot call ourselves a civilized society if we fail in providing safety and security to our women and children.
  14. We must take destiny in our own hands to build the India of our dreams.
  15. As we build an India of smart cities, towns & villages, we must ensure they are humane, hi-tech and happy places.

Credits to text: Times of India / Photo © Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

 

More options needed to alert dangerous driving

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Once again an accident involving a mini bus happened resulting in the death of a passenger. Although, this time, it was not due to the speeding or mistake of the bus driver!.
There is only one way, I see to end this catastrophe. More education to our public transport users to immediately alert the police as well as warn the driver, if they witness any incident of dangerous driving.
These drivers who speed and neglect the traffic signs, signals and rules may be pressurized by tight deadline from their company or their on personal financial pressures to earn more each day!.
Driving from Abu Dhabi on the Emirates Road as well as the Mussaffah Road during the last two Saturdays, I witnessed several instances of 15 seater mini vans speeding. Some even on the 2nd lane from left, which they normally should not be present.
I humbly request the authorities to have a foolproof and easy communication system like a mobile contact for whatsapp or sms for road users and passengers to alert the authorities whenever they witness dangerous driving. More awareness and calls should be made by the authorities to encourage public to be their voice to avert more such death resulting situations.

Letters to the Editor/The National:

One dead, 16 injured as pickup truck crashes into bus in Dubai

Excited for the Olympics

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It is a time of anticipation and excitement as India, my home country, and UAE, my home away from home, field their largest contingents to the Rio Olympics. From the Indian team, expectations are high on the 12-member shooting contingent, badminton, wrestling, tennis and archery team members along with boxing and the men’s hockey team all set to keep the Indian flag flying high at least a few times through their wins. Meanwhile, for the UAE it is all the more prestigious as there is a woman athlete representing the country in swimming along with the overall 13 athletes who will represent the country in six different disciplines like cycling, judo, weightlifting and athletics. Best wishes for the safe conduct of the event and let peace and harmony prevail with everyone enjoying the individual and team events.

From Mr Ramesh Menon

Abu Dhabi

Letters to the Editor/Gulf News

Congratulations to EK521 Crew & Dubai Airport Emergency Response Team

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My sincere congratulations to Emirates Airline EK521 Captain and Crew for handling the Crisis exceedingly well. Highest level of praise also goes to the Dubai Airport Emergency Response Team, who handled the situation and made sure the incident was brought under control. As regards to Emirates Airline Crisis Management and Communication Team, this is an excellent example for all global Comms/Crisis Management Teams to observe and follow how effectively and efficiently a major crisis can be handled and communicated. Everyone will agree and accept that this is not an easy task these days, when all are on social media and dissemination of information is just within the press of our fingers. The airline also came out with timely developing statements to avoid any rumors and feed stakeholders with right information. Emirates Airlines ranked Number 2 in terms of safety and the plane involved was a Boeing 777 which has a track record of safety. In addition the airport involved was Dubai airport, which is considered as one of the safest airports in the world. All the passengers and the crew were fortunate and blessed to have these three lucky combinations i.e, of a safe airline, airplane and a first rate airport, involved in this unfortunate incident from which they all survived! The country is proud of the brave firefighter Jasem who lost his life. May his soul rest in peace.

Letters to the Editor/Gulf News:

Dubai triumphs again