Connect with us

Air Pollution

Counting down PM’s 7 day deadline in Chiang Mai – so far no change

Published

 on 

by Piyaporn Wongruang, Tim Newton

Last week PM Prayut Chan-o-cha issued an order to end the haze crisis in the North within seven days and declared the situation part of the national agenda.

Two days to go and there is still no respite of the hazardous levels of smoke and smog besetting the northern capital and adjacent provinces. The PM met with nine provincial governors and authorities directly involved with the smog problem last Tuesday ordering the problem be solved in 7 days.

But Greenpeace country director Tara Buakamsri says the haze was not simply an environmental matter, but rather demands multidisciplinary knowledge to bring the situation under control.

“It’s same story as four years ago when there was a similar level of spotfires around the region, identified by NASA satellites, and we still haven’t effectively undertaken anything to address it.”

Unlike the smog that enveloped Bangkok earlier this year, the haze crisis in the North stems largely from spontaneous dry-season forest fires and other fires deliberately lit to clear farmland and plantations, many of them in neighboring Myanmar and Laos as well as the northern provinces.

GISDA (Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency) has found that the number of hotspots in nine northern provinces, including Chiang Mai, has been climbing since early March. From the dozens initially seen, the number soared in mid-March, surpassing last year’s record for the same period.

As of last Monday, there were 6,069 hotspots, compared to 4,722 in the same period last year.

The statistics are supported by those of the Royal Forestry Department, which recorded at least 5,909 hotspots in the North last Monday. Of these, 641 were burning outside forestlands, 772 were on farms abutting forests, and 4,496 were within forests. Project researchers found that bans imposed on outdoor burning every March and April do little to deter farmers from burning off the leftover stubble in their fields ahead of the rainy season.

Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lampang and Tak are registering the most dangerous air pollution levels, accounting for 63% of the fires observed. Chiang Mai province alone had 1,033.

The fear is the situation is worsening, not improving, and the Thai PM’s optimistic directive has resulted in no reduction of the choking haze and smoke at this stage.

In the short-term, unless the fires can all be magically extinguished, the only hope is an early onset of the rainy season and some clearing winds – neither appear on the horizon at this stage.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Malaysia4 hours ago

Malaysian beauty salon gets makeover as dentistry school

Thailand5 hours ago

Northern floods tragedy – Monks unable to help

Tourism6 hours ago

Xi’s Bangkok APEC trip to open tourist floodgates

Sponsored2 days ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Pattaya6 hours ago

Police to curb Pattaya Beach drinking after student gun fight

Phuket7 hours ago

9th and 10th monkeypox infections found in Phuket

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Face masks still required on public transport, in cinemas

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Cannabis News9 hours ago

Pattaya man attacked at gunpoint for selling cannabis

Crime9 hours ago

Police seize 60 suspects in online ‘ghost guns’ sting

Thailand9 hours ago

Bangkok Secret Nightlife – Bangkok Red Light District Secret Museum

Coronation10 hours ago

King Charles III debuts on UK coins

Politics1 day ago

Vladimir Putin officially annexed four parts of Ukraine

Transport1 day ago

Phuket Airport officials pulled tourist from van, insisted they use airport taxi

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand’s strange laws – 10 strange laws in Thailand

Politics1 day ago

The long goodbye – Which way now for PM Prayut?

Pattaya1 day ago

Pattaya Police Chief cleared of vice slurs, back on duty

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending