Bangkok announces air pollution curbing measures

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Governor of Bangkok Chadchart Sittipunt said the city hall will be taking a proactive approach to inspecting cars, trucks, and 6,000 factories located in the capital, as well as preventing the burning of agricultural waste.

Bangkok city hall has announced a set of measures to curb air pollution this winter season, by focusing on emissions from vehicles and industrial plants. The city will provide air quality forecasts of up to 7 days in advance to allow residents to take appropriate precautionary measures.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said it would be taking stringent measures to control air pollution caused by fumes released from vehicles, factories, and farms, to mitigate the haze disaster that has become a seasonal occurrence in the capital city.



The city today held a task force meeting on haze prevention and mitigation, particularly the accumulation of PM 2.5 airborne dust particles that can cause health complications.
Governor of Bangkok Chadchart Sittipunt said the city hall will be taking a proactive approach to inspecting cars, trucks, and 6,000 factories located in the capital, as well as preventing the burning of agricultural waste.

Related agencies are instructed to make daily reports on vehicle inspections for a period of two months, while city officials have been working with farmers to find alternative ways to dispose of agricultural biomass.



The city currently has a list of 260 factories with high pollution risks. City officials from district offices will be working together with the Department of Industrial Works to inspect manufacturing plants in their respective areas.

The BMA has received calls from farmers to help provide the fuel needed for stubble removal machines and to provide the equipment needed to turn farm biomass into fertilizers. Transport operators have suggested the city hall conduct stringent inspections of overloaded trucks which can emit more pollution.

The BMA has set up a command center to tackle the haze disaster at its Din Daeng office to monitor and report air quality to residents. The Pollution Control Department (PCD) currently provides an air quality forecast of up to 7 days, but the accuracy rate is relatively higher for a forecast of 3 days.



The Bangkok Governor said the BMA will need to coordinate with the PCD to address haze that originates from fire and other sources outside Thailand, and cooperation with neighboring countries will be required.

He said these measures will be implemented more stringently from now on, including a campaign to educate children at schools on how to read the color-coded air pollution reports which include blue for excellent air, green for satisfactory air, yellow for moderate, orange for unhealthy, and red for very unhealthy air.

Safe spaces will be designated at schools to accommodate children during an air quality crisis. (NNT)