At the Cabinet meeting on 15 December 2020, Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed relevant officials to accelerate the tackling of the PM 2.5 dust pollution problem, which is affecting Bangkok and its vicinity.
Unfavorable weather conditions have reportedly increased the density of PM 2.5 in several districts of Bangkok, but they are expected to gradually improve.
The Prime Minister said that the Government had issued measures to control the PM 2.5 dust situation on a continual basis and to reduce its impact on the people’s health, especially among older persons and children.
He encouraged people to reduce personal car use and turn to public transport services in order to cope with the high levels of PM 2.5 dust particles in the air. More stringent measures will be imposed, such as the control of black smoke emissions from vehicles.
The Cabinet on 23 November 2020 approved the 2020 action plan, proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, to mobilize efforts to tackle the dust pollution problem, which is part of the national agenda.
The action plan consists of three major measures. The first measure seeks to increase the efficiency of area-based management of the problem. Relevant agencies in risk areas, such as Bangkok and its vicinity and 17 northern provinces, may set appropriate criteria in accordance with their situation.
The second measure seeks to prevent and reduce dust pollution at its sources, such as vehicles, industrial plants, open-air burning, and construction sites. The third measure seeks to enhance the efficiency of pollution management and develop networks to monitor air quality, as well as developing warning systems and using modern technology to deal with the problem.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is implementing an action plan to deal with PM 2.5 from December 2020 to February 2021. The plan involves, for example, the reduction of activities that may cause dust pollution, street cleaning, and water-spraying from high buildings. Strict law enforcement will also be applied to effectively control the problem.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department