Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha has ordered related agencies to take serious action against the air pollution of PM2.5 dust particles that continue to plague Bangkok and surrounding provinces this week.
The Prime Minister expressed his concern over the unhealthy smog during the opening ceremony of Bang Sue Grand Station yesterday, December 15th, and ordered all ministers involved at the cabinet meeting to collaboratively solve PM2.5 dust problems.
He also urged commuters to use public transport rather than private cars, while the related pollution policy, such as limited open burning and detection of black smoke, would be decisively implemented. The government would also take legal action against the use of vehicles whose licenses had expired.
Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, the spokesperson for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), said the Pollution Control Department (PCD) and the BMA had asked for cooperation with the responsible agencies, including Bangkok and its surrounding provinces and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, to stop the agricultural open-burning and large construction projects in the metropolitan area and its vicinities during the period of the 14th to the 17th December. The Pattaya News notes that although open burning of farms is, technically, against Thai Law it is rarely enforced, especially at the local level in rural villages and provinces.
One of the BMA’s urgent measures to fight the ongoing air pollution includes spraying water to wash away tree leaves and the capital’s roads, as well as cleaning public property such as bus stops, postboxes, and pedestrian bridges.
Some schools under the Bangkok jurisdiction are advised to skip outdoor activities and morning assembly. Those who are working outdoors are being strongly encouraged to wear N-95 masks.
As in recent days, the level of PM2.5 dust particles in the capital has reached the highest of 118 mcg/cm. while air pollution in Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon, and Pathum Thani has also worsened due to the PM2.5 dust exceeding. However, as of this afternoon, December 16th, air quality index ratings show the situation dramatically improving, although long term measures will be needed according to the PCD.
Photo Courtesy: Pollution Control Department (PCD)
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