Do your part
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's (Dewa) efforts to reduce energy consumption are commendable ("Dewa offers cash incentives for customers to switch off", Gulf News, August 13). After reading Gulf News's report, I went through various websites and discovered new ways through which we can step up our contributions. Firstly, when shopping for groceries, we could try not to purchase pre-packed items and instead go for loose products; this would reduce the amount of garbage produced. Moreover, we could cut up old cereal packs to make shopping lists and get fit by walking to stores instead of using our cars. Additionally, it's always better to wash vehicles with a bucket of water rather than a hosepipe. These are small initiatives that can have lasting consequences, and we have to ensure we do our part.
From Mr Anup Mathew

Editor's note: To read more about Gulf News's environmental initiative, log on to

Buses preferable
The Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) decision to launch double-decker buses on Sharjah and Dubai route comes as very good news ("Commuters get view from top with double-deckers", Gulf News, August 12). It will help reduce traffic and benefit a lot of residents. If the buses could make regular and punctual stops in areas such as King Faisal Street, Al Wahda Street and Al Nahda, most commuters would prefer leaving behind their vehicles and use public transport. Day by day, the traffic is getting worse and only public transport can solve this problem.
From Mr Abdul Wahab Moopan

More routes
The new double-decker buses have greatly helped reduce traffic. However, I have some suggestions that would positively impact the traffic situation between Sharjah and Dubai. Firstly, more bus routes should be established between the two emirates in the following areas: the industrial areas, between Sharjah and Dubai International Airport, and Emirates Road. Secondly, new bus stations should be set up on the borders of the emirates, so that passengers can commute more easily. This would definitely help reduce the number of cars on the roads.
From Mr Wilson
Full name withheld by request

Separate the buses
The double-decker bus initiative is a very good move from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and as a commuter, I would definitely travel by these buses if they reached the specified destinations on time. A great deal of construction is currently underway in Dubai and I do understand the limitations, but I suggest that the RTA come up with a plan whereby they could have a lane for public transport vehicles only. This way, buses would not face much traffic and the number of people travelling in buses would increase drastically as it would save them time.
From Mr Sami Allah Z.

Don't be fooled
It was, indeed, very kind of the taxi driver to lend Ms Suravi Basu Dh500 instead of taking her on a round trip, as she mentioned in her letter to Gulf News ("Humanity exists", Gulf News, August 13). However, it is very premature on her part to say that incidents such as these show that "there is still hope for humanity" in these trying times. This incident is only about a man trying to impress a woman - it happens all the time.
From Dr A. S. Shehab Al Deen
Abu Dhabi

Cutting costs
While the newly launched self-service system at petrol stations is great, I urge them to also reduce the price of petrol for motorists who use the self-service option ("Do-it-yourself at Enoc petrol stations", Gulf News, August 13). I can pretty much guarantee that if such an incentive were offered, most motorists would be happy to serve themselves. In the US, petrol stations have been offering the self-service option for years. Oil companies save on labour costs, so part of their savings go to the public.
From Mr Rick Advano

Give us incentives
As an expatriate from the US, I am used to filling petrol myself in temperatures ranging from 38?C to below 0?C. In such countries, there are also a number of service stations that charge more, as they do not allow customers to serve themselves. However, there is always a price difference between stations that allow self-service and stations that do not. If Enoc is going to cut costs by moving towards self-service stations and employing fewer attendants, then the savings should be passed along to the consumer. Consumers require incentives to use self-service stations.
From Mr Zia Shahid

Getting it right
I am left handed and often used to find it difficult to study playing the guitar, as it was made for right-handed people, but I have now gotten used to it ("A store that got it right", Gulf News, August 13). Additionally, I remember having difficulty with other items as a child. I remember playing with a toy pistol that had a belt and pistol case designed for right-handed children. I am glad that there will be a specialised store for left-handed people living in the UAE. I urge such local and internet-based stores to also include golf clubs in their catalogues. I am sure it would be a big hit.
From Mr William Sali

Historic win
Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra's win has probably boosted the morale of sportsmen all over his homeland ("Bindra mania as India honours and Olympic hero", Gulf News, August 13). These athletes should also gather some good lessons from the young Olympic gold medallist. As an Indian, I was in tears when I heard our national anthem being played in an international stadium. But the real hero was cool and poised.
From Ms Kamala Nair

Skewed priorities
Residents in the UAE have often raised furore over rising expenses in terms of rent, school fees and commodity prices, and it seems everyone has the same complaint to make. But when I come across people spending money indiscreetly on beauty products and in beauty salons, I often think people only pretend when they complain about inflation. It is amazing to see that most do not have any objections when buying high-end luxury items, but complain and wait for bargains and reductions when purchasing products that are actually a necessity. In such a context, all complaints related to the rising cost of living are a farce.
From Ms Shemeem K.

Educate drivers
The only way to reduce accidents is by providing all motorists and driving licence holders with a training programme on a yearly basis. The authorities could charge a nominal fee for educating them. For such programmes, they could develop a comprehensive and interesting presentation, with slides showing road accidents of the past, facts and techniques to drive safely. Once such programmes are launched and creative ideas are thrown around, motorists would be well aware of regulations and there would be a drastic reduction in the frequency of accidents.
From Mr K. K. Rajaram

Link the cities
If the authorities want to reduce traffic congestion, they must focus on reducing the number of heavy vehicles and trucks on the roads. These seem to cause more pollution than cars. Additionally, instead of extending bridges and roads between Dubai and Sharjah, they could link the two cities through a tram system. This would reduce traffic considerably.
From Mr Umair Ameen

Solution in buses
Millions of dirhams are spent constructing roads, yet traffic problems still exist. I think the ideal solution would be to use public transport. Small buses should be made available within the city. Every city should have a bus that stops at each bus stop, at regular intervals. This would clear internal traffic and bring passengers, who need to travel long distances, to the shops and bus stands. No other method would prove to be as efficient as an elaborate public bus transport system.
From Mr Balakrishna R. Venukumar

The way to go
Since traffic is a major problem here, I suggest that people start using bicycles to go to work. A lot of people in London have started using bicycles as their preferred mode of transport — a fact that I read, recently. This would be an ideal solution to a lot of problems in the UAE too. Not only would it be an excellent way to keep fit, but it would also help reduce pollution to a large extent. Additionally, it would improve performance at work, as people would feel more relaxed after a short ride, instead of having to sit through traffic for two hours.
From Mr Alex
Full name withheld by request

Think again
It seems the writer has some preconceived misconceptions about birds and animals (“Uninvited guests threatening UAE ecosystem'', Gulf News, June 25). Mynah birds, for instance, are supportive to nature and coexist with the local species. There aren't many local species in the desert and these birds only add beauty to barren lands. They actually benefit nature by eating insects and the waste generated by humans.
From Ms Lakshmi Narasimhan

Be proactive
This is in response to Mr R. Mahmoud's letter (“Not threatened'', Gulf News, June 23). I assert that expatriates want to move to neither the US nor the UK. The UAE is a friend to the US and as residents, you should be glad that the authorities are looking out for your interests. However, having great confidence in the country's security measures is not enough; you have to do your part as well. If you see someone acting strange, report it to the police. Why make a big deal about something so simple?
From Mr Danny Zorrilla
New York

Basic is not enough
I think gratuity should be allotted based on a full salary, irrespective of how long an individual has worked for the company (“Companies ‘need to show more gratuity''', Gulf News, June 22). If a company pays gratuity on an employee's basic salary, it does not amount to much, considering the amount of work that the employee has put in for the company. My full salary is fine, but my basic salary is very low, so the gratuity I get will not amount to much.
From Mr Farhad Hussain

Give it in full
Gratuity should be paid based on the full salary (“Companies ‘need to show more gratuity'', Gulf News, June 22). Alternatively, if there is a rule that says that gratuity should be paid on the basic salary or 75 per cent of the full salary — whichever is higher — then that could also be a positive step. However, for employees who have spent a long time working with one company, there is no better way to compensate them than by paying gratuity based on their total salary.
From Ms Catherine Jones
Abu Dhabi

Going too fast
The horrible accident that occurred on Shaikh Rashid Road shows how fatal accidents have become so frequent in the UAE (“Five killed in horrific traffic accident on Shaikh Rashid Road in Dubai'', Gulf News, July 13). Because of these collisions, I feel insecure every time I am on the road. Anyone at any time can be a victim of reckless driving. Most of the accidents occur due to speeding. I appeal to the authorities to take very strict measures against those who speed and violate road regulations.
From Ms Taskeen Kashif

Unheard frustration
One of the main reasons why taxi drivers are frustrated is because they are underpaid and unable to make ends meet (“Sharjah residents say taxis unwilling to enter Dubai'', Gulf News, June 18). Coupled with their financial burdens and the constant burden of having to support dependents back home, they just cannot meet their requirements. This results in poor customer service. Additionally, most of the drivers complain that their employers levy heavy fines and deduct this from their meagre earnings. I feel that most of the young taxi drivers are in a catch-22 situation. There is no one to hear their woes, except some empathetic passengers.
From Mr Jayanth
Full name withheld by request

Cheap and friendly
The taxi service in this country has become a nightmare despite being so expensive. Why don't the authorities provide an affordable taxi service that would satisfy both the customers and the company? I think ‘do or let do' should be the policy.
From Mr Nanjundanathan Manoharan