Use law to end smog: Prawit

Use law to end smog: Prawit

Greenpeace Thailand, BIOTHAI, Climate Strike Thailand and the Foundation for Consumers urge the government to tackle PM2.5 pollution. They staged a walk from Wat Benjamaborpit to the government's complaints centre near Government House in Bangkok on Thursday to publicise their cause. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Greenpeace Thailand, BIOTHAI, Climate Strike Thailand and the Foundation for Consumers urge the government to tackle PM2.5 pollution. They staged a walk from Wat Benjamaborpit to the government's complaints centre near Government House in Bangkok on Thursday to publicise their cause. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said law enforcement is the key to controlling fine-dust pollution which has shrouded the country over the past few weeks.

Gen Prawit, who is also the chairman of the National Environment Board, said the NEB acknowledges all state agencies have put in place their own set of rules and regulations to deal with the smog crisis.

However, he said, these rules and regulations need to be stringently enforced, with cooperation from the public.

"The law must be seriously implemented to help combat the haze at the source," he said.

"Provincial governors, including the governor of Bangkok, are the commanders at the frontline of the fight against the haze. Other agencies must support and listen to their directives."

Gen Prawit said the government is treating the problem as a priority issue, before adding the problem can be tackled with adequate education, coupled with effective monitoring and routine evaluation of ongoing efforts.

"The board has asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to set up a committee to study PM2.5 pollution," he said.

"At the same time, Pollution Control Department is monitoring the haze from their 'war room' until the situation returns to normal."

Separately, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda urged the public, particularly city residents, to do their part to combat pollution.

He urged motorists to consider carpooling, before saying the cabinet is considering cutting mass transit fares to get residents to leave their cars at home when the haze is particularly bad.

However, Gen Anupong said these measures need to be carefully considered because they are financed by taxpayers' money.

On Thursday, dust levels in Bangkok ranged between 52-68 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³) in Wang Thonglang, Bang Rak, Bang Kho Laem, Bang Kapi, Lat Krabang, Klong San, Phra Nakhon, Bang Khen, Klong Toey and Laksi. PCD's "safe" limit is set at 50µg/m³.


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