Bangkok Governor rewards ‘active citizens’ for tracking down smog sources
Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt has thanked “active citizens” for helping to identify sources of air pollution in the city.
The governor invited eight citizen whistleblowers to lunch at the City Hall on Tuesday after they provided vital intelligence on sources of PM2.5 fine dust via the city’s online Traffy Fondue platform.
PM2.5 refers to dust particles that are 2.5 micrometres or smaller in diameter and linked with lung and heart problems.
“Anyone who provides such information is considered an ‘active citizen’ who enables the city to tackle the problems at their source,” said Chadchart. The governor added he was happy and surprised to see so many people using Traffy Fondue to contact authorities, despite hiccups reported at the platform’s launch.
On January 16, Chadchart invited Bangkokians to alert the city via Traffy Fondue if they saw vehicles, factories or other sources emitting black smoke or other air pollution.
Citizens have responded in huge numbers over the past month, prompting the governor to invite eight Traffy Fondue whistleblowers for lunch and a chat at the City Hall in Din Daeng district.
Chadchart said useful information disclosed via the platform included burning of garbage in Nong Chok district, public buses belching black smoke in Thonburi, and misreporting by air-quality monitoring stations in several districts.
In response, black-smoke traffic checkpoints were set up, and air-quality monitoring stations recalibrated for accuracy.
“Some of the fixes are temporary, but at least it makes responsible agencies aware of the problems, which will lead to a permanent solution in the future,” said Chadchart. “With cooperation from all related parties, together we can make Bangkok a better city.”
City authorities said over 220,000 complaints have been posted via Traffy Fondue, 180,000 of which have already been addressed. It has also forwarded complaints on issues that are not under its jurisdiction to relevant agencies.