Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Humanizing the Petrol Crisis

With the silence continuing over the petrol crisis in Sharjah and Northern Emirates, the statement that appeared in Gulf News today by an ENOC spokesperson is a real classic.  The quote from Gulf News, the person literally said:

"I cannot give a statement now, don't ask me questions I cannot answer," he said. "I agree that we should be more transparent, I agree 150 per cent, but we have directives not to talk about this issue now."
Pressed for answers, he made casual comments on the weather to change the subject.
Enoc's silent spell lasted for about two weeks while the spokesperson was on holiday after the trouble started. Repeated attempts by Gulf News to contact the company were unanswered.

Get the last drop while you can.

Inspite of everything that's transpired in the last one month, ENOC make it seem like a non-issue and it really undermines the pain and suffering that those who've been stuck without petrol have had to live through.

I know personally of a case where a mother and an infant were stuck in a car in the blistering heat outside a petrol station for hours because it ran out of fuel.  Their son was at a birthday party and the father drove in from Sharjah, picked up the son and then went on rescue the mother and baby.  What type of city are we living in?  I'm sure are thousands of such stories but we don't hear about them unfortunately.  The press won't cover such this in this part of the world so the officials who govern policy sit around twiddling their thumbs and act as if its business as usual.

There is a human element to this story which the country has to be made aware of.  Had the human element been highlighted much earlier during this crisis, I believe we would've seen possibly some answers or a solution transpire much quicker.  Now to sit around and wait till someone fixes the problem in Ramadan leaves us with a sense of hope but as is the case often, it's a a chance of hope that we take with a pinch of salt as promises have been made earlier as well as the residents of Sharjah know only too well which didn't quite pan out.

With the summer holidays coming, one can only hope a lot of families will be away from the torturous summer period and many parents won't have the school pick-up and drop-off's to worry about, but even then, how long can they stay indoor and do nothing until this crisis is resolved?

To read the whole story in Gulf News, click here.  Local blogger, Alexander McNabb has also been writing extensively on this crisis and I'd encourage to have a read at his blog here as well.