Thailand strengthen actions against fine dust pollution


Image from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, Dec 6 (Bernama): Thailand’s Pollution Control Department (PCD) has set a target to reduce 10 per cent of hazy days in Bangkok and 17 northern provinces next year -- thanks to strict control measures against PM25 fine dust.

PCD’s Director General Pinsak Suraswadi said Thailand’s National Environmental Board and its cabinet approved a special plan for reducing haze pollution next year with a focus on three areas namely urban, agriculture and forests.

According to Pinsak, haze pollution could worsen next year due to prolonged cold weather and the declining influence of La Nina, which requires drastic measures to control the pollution, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Pinsak said that 63 per cent of haze pollution in Bangkok is caused by traffic, so his department will closely work with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to set up more checkpoints to control vehicles emissions.

Petroleum stations are asked to sell low-sulfur dioxide petrol, which will help reduce tiny particles during the haze season.

The PCD will examine all 896 coal, iron-making and cement plants in the city and its neighbouring provinces.

Regarding the agricultural sector, the Department of Agricultural Extension under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has set a target to reduce the number of pollution hotspots in farming areas by 10 per cent in 62 provinces next year.

The agency will work with 17,640 farmers to curb outdoor straw burning and about 19,600 hotspots have been recorded this year.

Regarding forests, Pinsak said efforts have been made to reduce the number of forest fires by reducing the sources of fuel. About 3,000 tonnes of dry leaves and branches are expected to be removed and destroyed next year.

A fire hazard assessment system will also be activated to assess the fire risk so that the number of wildfires can be reduced by 20 per cent. - Bernama

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