BMA mulls ban on overladen trucks
Plan aims to protect roads, curb fine dust
City Hall is looking to ban overloaded lorries from certain parts of Bangkok in a proposal aimed at not only protecting city roads from further damage but also to reduce hazardous ultra-fine dust particles in the air.
Proposed by the Bangkok Council yesterday, the move is now being vetted by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) executives, and targets trucks carrying loads exceeding legal limits, city councillor Phat Phatsattha said.
Most councillors supported the proposed ban at Wednesday's meeting, he said.
Sakchai Bunma, a deputy Bangkok governor, said BMA executives would decide what to do next in response to the council's proposal.
The council requested that the BMA issue an announcement or order prohibiting trucks carrying loads exceeding legal limits from certain areas of the capital, Mr Phat said.
Of the about 16 billion baht in annual budget allocated to the Department of Public Works, 20% normally goes on repairing roads damaged by overloaded trucks, he said.
Meanwhile, the PM2.5 dust problem continues to intensify in several parts of the country.
In Nakhon Sawan province's Muang district, dust levels yesterday were measured at 55 microgrammes per cubic metre, exceeding the 50 µg/m3 safe level, while the air quality index was measured at 111, an unhealthy level for everyone.
The provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office said a major contributor to poor air quality in the province was farmers burning sugar cane plants to make harvesting the crop easier.
The burning is continuing despite efforts by provincial authorities to prevent farmers exacerbating the PM2.5 dust situation.
Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast is also struggling to cope with the PM2.5 problem.
Burning dry stalks of rice plants was found to be a key contributor to ultra-fine dust in the province.
Despite appeals and various efforts by the provincial administration to encourage locals to avoid burning the stalks at this time of year, burning rice plants have become a common sight these days, especially along both sides of the Bua Yai-Non Tathen road in Bua Yai district.
The road is often shrouded in white smoke from the burning, making driving hazardous for motorists because of the resulting poor visibility.