Govt tackling air pollution 'at its source'

Govt tackling air pollution 'at its source'

A man takes his son cycling in Bangkok's Bang Khunthian district. People are now wearing masks not only to protect themselves from Covid-19, but also fine dust pollution, which has spiked in parts of Bangkok. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
A man takes his son cycling in Bangkok's Bang Khunthian district. People are now wearing masks not only to protect themselves from Covid-19, but also fine dust pollution, which has spiked in parts of Bangkok. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

State agencies are working hard to tackle pollutants at their sources before the New Year, in a bid to reduce the fine dust pollution affecting large cities across the country, said the Centre for Air Pollution Mitigation (CAPM).

The centre, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, is coordinating with relevant agencies to control the sources of pollution, CAPM's spokesman, Siwat Pongpiajan, said on Thursday.

According to air quality surveys, the haze was generally within an acceptable level, except in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Nong Khai, Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima, where the PM2.5 index exceeded the "safe" range set by the government.

The Pollution Control Department considers PM2.5 readings of above 50 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m³) as unhealthy.

Mr Siwat said government agencies, including the Royal Thai Police, Department of Land Transport, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, along with the Interior, Agriculture, Transport and Industry ministries, are implementing strict measures to control pollution at its source.

For example, the Department of Land Transport has issued a temporary ban on the use of vehicles which belch black smoke, ordering vehicle owners to rectify the problem before the ban is lifted.

In addition, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged state employees to work from home where possible before the four-day New Year long weekend, which starts next Thursday.

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