The Thai government has ordered all provincial governors to stop the burning of crops, fields, and garbage in their respective provinces to help stop potential air pollution that has seen the skies of Bangkok and Chonburi, along with other areas, clogged over the past week.
Air pollution has been a problem annually for several years now and according to analysts, experts, and now even the Department of Air Pollution, the primary source is the burning of fields, crops, garbage, and other items across Thailand. Some of the pollution is also linked to other countries in Asia.
Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantravanich, who is a spokesperson for the government, said that provincial governors had been ordered to enforce laws regarding burning around the Kingdom of Thailand.
Critics online, however, have shown doubt about the enforcement. They point out that this problem has been in place for many years and many local communities protect farmers from enforcement as farming is the “breadbasket” of the area and main source of income. Although the burning of crops and other items is technically illegal, it is rarely enforced due to these reasons.
Critics have regularly suggested that instead of the government simply saying they are banning burning they need to work with farmers on alternative methods of harvesting. Additionally, many government critics have suggested to fine factories directly that accept burnt crops.
Meanwhile, the government has also encouraged residents of Thailand to call 1650 if you see illegal burning and report it to a special hotline set up to investigate.