BANGKOK, In a bid to control a major source of fine particulate matter PM2.5, Thailand's Department of Land Transport (DLT) has announced a raft of measures to reduce emissions from vehicles, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
The level of PM2.5 in Bangkok and neighbouring areas was below the so-called safe 50 g/m� threshold over the past days. Therefore, seven measures have been put in place to curb and bring down the PM2.5 level, DLT Director-General Jirut Wisanjit said.
They are cancelling and pausing car registration renewal for vehicles that exceed PM2.5 smog levels; deploying more staff to check vehicles; working with the Pollution Control Department (PCD) to inspect vehicle exhaust emissions in hot spots; making sure that centres licenced to inspect car conditions check PM2.5 emitted from cars; working with the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and the Transport Company to inspect exhaust levels; opening a hotline (1584) and social media page for people to lodge complaints and give tip-offs on vehicles that emit black smog; and working with private companies and associations related to public buses and vans to improve PM2.5 emissions checks.
Since October last year until September, 122,370 vehicles have had their exhaust inspected and 3,520 of them were found to emit pollutants, including PM2.5, beyond the permitted level, according to Jirut.
For vehicles that exceed permitted PM2.5 levels, DLT will fine the driver 5,000 baht (US$165), Jirut added.
Moreover, a vehicle that exceeds smog levels will be marked with spray paint indicating its suspension from use.
This ban will be lifted only after the owner of the car has the engine refitted to reduce PM2.5 emissions. In his weekly televised show on October 4, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the Government has always been concerned about air pollution, especially PM2.5 or microscopic dust particles.
He also urged people not to panic, saying it is necessary to understand it first. The smog came from other countries, traffic jams, burning of farming waste, factory emission and dust from construction sites, he said.
Bangkok had 10.5 million vehicles registered with DLT as of August. However, many more motorists drive into the city from their residences in neighbouring provinces.
Source: NAM News Network