The Thai Cabinet approved on Monday, November 23, a draft action plan highlighting three measures to tackle the dust pollution problem nationwide as a part of a national agenda.
Anucha Buraphachaisri, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, told the press after the cabinet meeting that the draft action plan, proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, emphasizes three major measures to increase efficiency in managing, preventing, and reducing air pollution from the sources of the problem.
The Cabinet has also appointed a sub-committee to prevent and resolve forest fires, haze, and dust pollution problems by acting in line with the proposed measures as main mechanisms for governance.
The first measure seeks to increase the efficiency in area-based management of the problem. Relevant departments in the risk areas, such as Bangkok and its vicinity and 17 northern provinces, are able to determine appropriate criteria in accordance with the situation.
The second measure seeks to prevent and reduce dust pollution at its sources, such as vehicles, industrial plants, open-air burning, and construction sites. Pollution control tax, emission regulations from the EU framework, and zero-burning agriculture practices may be applied under the measure.
The third measure seeks to enhance the efficiency in pollution management and develop networks and databases to monitor air quality and dust particles from forest fires and open-air burning, as well as developing warning systems and using modern technology to cope with the situation.
A special and urgent plan to deal with air pollution was also approved at the meeting for relevant agencies to implement in order to ease dust pollution, especially when the problem occurs. Some of them include public relations to create pollution awareness, notification of dust particles in risk areas three days ahead of time and forming a volunteer network in the local community to monitor any situation that may lead to the increase of air pollution.
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