Chiang Mai allocates more funds to fight haze

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CHIANG MAI, Feb 18 – The northern province of Chiang Mai will set up an additional fund to tackle the seasonal haze problem.

The plan was discussed at a meeting of agencies to tackle haze and forest fire problems at a meeting called by Adisorn Kamnerdsiri, Chiang Mai deputy governor.

Despite the dust particle level still being within the safety standard at 70-80 microgrammes per cubic metre, the level is likely to rise.

The new fund will increase the provincial capability to resolve the problem as Chiang Mai has about 1,000 villages in 24 districts, adjacent to forest.  These areas are the main target spots in preventing forest fires.

The existing budget of 50,000 baht set aside for each district is not adequate to cover all areas.

In 2007, the cost of damage incurred from haze and smog was over five billion baht.