City Hall orders staggered hours in fight against smog

City Hall orders staggered hours in fight against smog

Students at Songwitthaya School in Muang district of Samut Prakan province wear face masks as the levels of unhealthy smog exceed safety standards in many areas in Bangkok and surrounding provinces on Tuesday. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Students at Songwitthaya School in Muang district of Samut Prakan province wear face masks as the levels of unhealthy smog exceed safety standards in many areas in Bangkok and surrounding provinces on Tuesday. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

City Hall has ordered about 20,000 personnel to start work at 10am instead of 8am and suspended classes at its 437 schools on Wednesday in its fight against unhealthy smog levels.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) came up with four urgent measures to deal with the hazardous ultra-fine dust levels in the air in the capital, said spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang.

The measures are the introduction of staggered working hours of 20,000 BMA personnel at City Hall in Sao Chingcha area and the BMA City Hall Tower 2 in Din Daeng, suspension of classes at all 437 BMA-run schools, distribution of face masks and campaigns to promote their use, said Pol Capt Pongsakorn.

The staggered working hours from 10am to 6pm instead of 8am to 4pm would help reduce the number of vehicles on Bangkok streets during rush hours, said the spokesman.

The staggered working hours would not affect public service as district offices would provide services at normal office hours of 8am to 4pm.

The 437 BMA-run schools would suspend classes on Wednesday as there were inadequate air purifiers at several schools. The temporary closure of the schools would also reduce the use of private cars by parents. 

He insisted that the suspension of classes would not affect learning as the schools would provide special classes later.

On the distribution of face masks, the BMA’s 68 healthcare centres had about 400,000 face mask. During the dust crisis, more face masks will be handed out to people at BTS skytrain stations, starting on Jan 21, he said. Face masks were also distributed to people at bus stops.

The BMA also urged people to wear face masks during this period.


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