Saturday, November 23, 2019

Prayut urges people not to panic over pollution, while academic finds govt solutions ineffective

Oct 05. 2019
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha says his government has always been concerned about air pollution. (Photo credit: Royal Thai Government's homepage)
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha says his government has always been concerned about air pollution. (Photo credit: Royal Thai Government's homepage)
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By Nattapat Promkaew
The Nation

5,663 Viewed

In his weekly televised show on Friday (October 4), Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said his government has always been concerned about air pollution, especially PM2.5 or microscopic dust particles, which he put down to smog from other countries, traffic jams, burning of farming waste, factory emission and dust from construction sites.

“PM2.5 is dangerous, especially for children, babies, pregnant women and elders, whose immunity is too fragile to tackle the microscopic dust,” he said, adding that people should be particularly careful during December as there are no winds or rain to blow away the dust.

He also urged people not to panic, saying it is necessary to understand it first. The Cabinet approved a proposal last week to solve the pollution crisis at four levels, he said, adding “we have explained them to all provinces and have asked for coordinated cooperation”. The premier had previously warned that the authorities would arrest polluting car owners.

Meanwhile, an academic was pessimistic about the effectiveness of the measures implemented by the government.

“Removing polluting cars from Bangkok streets will not help much as long as diesel-powered vehicles continue plying the streets of the capital,” Sumet Ongkittikul, research director at Thailand Development Research Institute told The Nation.

Instead, he said, the government should follow China’s way of tackling air pollution in Beijing, where it promoted the use of electric motorbikes and cut down on the number of cars.

Related Story: Drivers of polluting vehicles will be arrested, warns Prayut

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