Prayut mulls factory shutdowns, mandatory carpools

Prayut mulls factory shutdowns, mandatory carpools

Police check lorry emissions on Prasert Manukit Road in Bangkok in a bid to curb toxic smog on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Police check lorry emissions on Prasert Manukit Road in Bangkok in a bid to curb toxic smog on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The government may require factories to shut down part of each day, the use of carpools and other driving restrictions to reduce toxic dust, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.

"Industrial factories may have to close in the morning, the afternoon or the evening or when dust soars. Please be prepared... Today we are campaigning. Can factories stop for an hour in the morning or evening?" he said.

Gen Prayut said that starting on Wednesday, he had ordered soldiers to check emissions levels at factories across the country.

Owners of diesel buses and trucks were required to have their engines checked at depots, the prime minister said. Vehicles were also subject to roadside testing and would be prevented from operating immediately if their emissions breached safety standards, he said.

If levels of toxic dust remained serious, vehicles would be only allowed to enter high-pollution areas on alternate days, vehicles with diesel engines would be completely banned in those areas and mandatory carpooling would be introduced, with single-occupancy vehicles prohibited, Gen Prayut said.

Agricultural burning was another cause of the air pollution, the prime minister said. but was already covered by existing laws. 

Screenshot from http://aqicn.org/city/bangkok/


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