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Bangkok smog: Diesel buses and vehicles key problem

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Bangkok smog: Diesel buses and vehicles key problem | The Thaiger

by Wichit Chaitrong

“The problem is the estimated 2.5 million diesel-powered trucks and buses still on city roads.”

Experts are saying this morning that, given the problems in recent weeks with Bangkok’s smog, the national government’s pursuit of a “low-carbon economy” has fallen short of needs. They are recommending higher taxes on “dirty fuel” and a reduction in the number of vehicles on city streets.

Like other countries, Thailand has incorporated the low-carbon economy model in policies, aiming for sustainable development and better public health. But, in reality, the necessary changes have not taken effect.

The Finance Ministry has already introduced excise taxes on vehicles that vary with emission levels and successive governments have endorsed railway projects such as the mass transit system in Bangkok. The Energy Ministry plans to use more renewable-energy fuels to produce electricity in place of natural gas and coal.

Praipol Koomsup, an economist specialising in energy issues, says the high level of air pollution in Bangkok indicates that that the country has not yet done enough to make the low-carbon economy a reality.

One of several key contributors to the pollution problem is the estimated 2.5 million diesel-powered trucks and buses still on city roads. Diesel engines produce a significant amount of the PM2.5 particulate matter – a big contributor to the health issues related to Bangkok’s smog.

Praipol backs the idea of government subsidies for people willing to buy electric vehicles, the cost of which remains high.

“The government plans to increase the amount of renewable fuel for producing electricity from about 10 per cent to 20 per cent in the next 20 years. That is our target and we need to do a lot to achieve it.”

Thanawat Polvichai, director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, estimated that the air pollution could cost Bangkok businesses 5 billion-10 billion baht because, among other issues, no one wants to linger at open-air food stalls.

But Thanawat expects the crisis’ impact on the overall economy to be short-lived.

Speaking at a recent Thailand Development Research Institute seminar on “air pollution as a negative impact of development”, Adis Israngkura, an economist involved in national resources and the environment, urged the government to raise the tax ante.

“It should review the excise tax system and make it clear to people that pollution will be taxed heavily to discourage the use of dirty fuels such as diesel.”

But Adis believes the government is on the right track with its policies on sustainable development, but it needs to do more. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha chairs a committee overseeing the effort, he noted, but “Prayut could take more action”.

SOURCE: The Nation



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Syrian woman arrested with fake Spanish passport at Suvarnabhumi Airport

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Syrian woman arrested with fake Spanish passport at Suvarnabhumi Airport | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Immigration Bureau

Immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport have arrested a Syrian woman with a fake Spain passport.

The Immigration Bureau reports that, while they were patrolling the airport, they found the woman who was acting suspiciously.

They asked to see her passport which had her name listed on the passport as Alampana Albana, a Spanish national. She was waiting for a flight to Germany.

Officers also found another Syrian passport which identified her name as Mrs Manal Ahmad Alnayed.

The woman admitted that the Syrian passport was her real passport. She told officers her husband, who lived in Germany, arranged it for her.

She says she purchased the fake passport in Malaysia. She received the flight tickets from a foreign woman at the KL airport.

Mrs Alnayed has been charged with illegal possession of, and using, a fake passport.

Syrian woman arrested with fake Spanish passport at Suvarnabhumi Airport | News by The Thaiger

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Spanish man arrested in Bangkok over alleged raped

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Spanish man arrested in Bangkok over alleged raped | The Thaiger

PHOTO: INN News

Immigration Officers have arrested a Spanish man after he allegedly raped a handcuffed Thai woman.

INN News reports that the 30 year old Spanish man was arrested following the issuing of an arrest warrant for the alleged rape of the woman. The incident happened last Saturday at a luxury condominium in Thong Lor, Bangkok.

The female Thai victim told officers she and her friends were drinking at an entertainment venue in Thong Lor. She went back to her room with the Spanish man.

After that the Spanish man used handcuffs with the victim before biting her neck and raping her.

Immigration Officers discovered that the Spanish man has entered Thailand 38 times in the past. He works as a marketing consultant in Spain. Police are continuing their investigation and questioning those involved.

SOURCE: INN News

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Dog patiently watches over deceased master on Pathum Thani roadside

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Dog patiently watches over deceased master on Pathum Thani roadside | The Thaiger

A man, who had left home a month ago to live by the roadside with a stray dog in Pathum Thani, has been found dead. The dog was watching over the body when others discovered the deceased man. Pathum Thani is just north of Bangkok.

The deceased has been identified as 45 year old Surachai Khamsue. He was found lying by the side of a road in Moo 2 village in Tambon Klong Nueng, Klong Luang district, beside the old and un-roadworthy pickup that he had been using as a home.

His sister, 40 year old Chalermsri Sohsawaeng, told police that Surachai had left home to live in the car a month ago, and that she and other siblings had given him money to buy food.

Her brother liked to drink alcohol, she added. The body was sent for autopsy at Thammasat University hospital.

Dog patiently watches over deceased master on Pathum Thani roadside | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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