Polluting vehicles to be BANNED from city streets

Vehicles with “dirty” exhaust emissions will be ordered off the roads as part of the measures to fight the smog plaguing the capital.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said after a haze-fighting meeting on Tuesday that the Transport Ministry had been assigned to vigilantly check for vehicles emitting black exhaust fumes and ban them from Bangkok roads until their engines are repaired.

He encouraged motorists to leave their cars at home and use public transport to reduce pollution in the capital.

Bangkok had 10.5 million vehicles registered with the Land Transport Department as of August.

However, many more motorists drive into the city from their residences in the neighbouring provinces of Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Pathum Thani.

A truck sprays water to reduce the ultra-fine PM 2.5 pollutants in the air in Bang Sue district on Tuesday. The district was the third-worst polluted area. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Bangkok and its vicinity are currently again being plagued by fine particulate dust.

A Pollution Control Department reported at 3 pm on Tuesday that particulate matter 2.5 micrometres and less in diameter (PM2.5) was measured at between 34-73 microgrammes per cubic metre of air.

The figures were slightly better that the morning report of 40-81 µg/m³. The levels deemed dangerous to health are over 50 µg/m³ in Thailand, but are lower in most other countries.

Bang Khorlaem district was worst hit with 73 µg/m³, followed by Bang Phlad (72) and Bang Sue (71) districts.

The real problem, however, is that the Thais say the same thing every year and never follow their threats through.

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