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Government apologises for Bangkok air pollution and smog

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Government apologises for Bangkok air pollution and smog | The Thaiger

The Government has conceded to Bangkok citizens about the air pollution that continues to disrupt lives and threaten their health.

“The government apologises for the inconvenience caused by the poor air quality and would like to thank everybody for support and cooperation,” said the PM yesterday.

The blue sky typical of this time of year is hidden beyond a grey-yellow haze that could have serious long-term effects on health. The amount of harmful PM2.5 dust particles in the air has exceeded the safe limit in the capital and adjacent provinces almost daily since late December.

However, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and relevant authorities have taken some action to ease the problem in areas under heavy smog. They have been trying to crack down on vehicles emitting black fumes and are becoming strict with people burning fires outdoors.

Officials have also started keeping a close watch on industrial plants, ensuring there are no toxic fumes coming out of their chimneys. Roads are being regularly hosed down and water is being sprayed in the air in the vague hope of bringing down the dust particles.

The PM is calling on owners of diesel-run vehicles to only use their cars in Greater Bangkok when it is absolutely necessary. He said the air pollution problem would be around into next week.

“If possible, avoid using them until the smog eases,” he advised as he agreed that the main cause of the haze could be put down to incomplete engine combustion.

“As a long-term solution, we will improve the integrated public-transportation system, fuel quality and exhaust fume standards. We will have more petrol stations offering environmentally-friendly choices and start promoting hybrid or electric vehicles,” the premier said.

In the meantime, operations to fight smog continued in several parts of Greater Bangkok. On Friday morning, four drones took off from Bangkok City Hall to join three fire engines in the latest battle against health-threatening haze. Water is also being sprayed from the high floors of tall buildings.

Read The Thaiger editorial about these attempts to mitigate Bangkok’s smog HERE.

Today, a fleet of small planes mustered by the BMA and Bangkok Aviation Centre will also spray water along Rama II Road in Samut Sakhon.

Army chief General Apirach Kongsompong said his forces have also actively responded to the government’s policy on fighting the pollution.

“People should help too. Don’t just blame the government. It’s everybody’s duty,” he said.

Government apologises for Bangkok air pollution and smog | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Bangkok

BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist

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BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist | The Thaiger

Usually maligned, it’s great to post a good-news story about Bangkok’s taxi drivers. A capital city cabbie is being praised after returning a bag containing 400,000 baht to a Danish tourist.

T News reports that Somsri Ralat picked up the Danish tourist and his Thai wife at BKK airport and was taking them to their Hotel in Bang Yai yesterday afternoon.

But after they arrived, and the taxi had departed, they realized they left a bag containing cash and documents in the back seat of the taxi.

Back in the taxi, when he arrived back at Suvarnabhumi, the driver contacted staff to ask for help in tracking down the couple.

A couple of hours later the couple were re-united with their bag at the airport.

Managing Director of Suvarnabhumi Airport Suthirawat Suwannawat says Mr Somsri was a credit to Thailand and his actions would be good for the country’s image among foreign tourists.

Of course he was only doing the right thing but often taxi drivers get a bad rap for their behaviour. And the bad stories get most of the media space. So it’s nice to have a happy ending to this taxi story.

It wasn’t reported but one of the pictures indicate Somsri was rewarded for his honesty.

Passengers who leave personal belongings in the back of a taxi they have taken from Survanabhumbi can contact the Taxi Service Center, on 02 132 0360 or the AOT Contact Centre on 1722, 24 hours a day.

SOURCE: TNews

BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist | News by The Thaiger BKK taxi driver returns 400,000 baht to Danish tourist | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Siam Songkran Festival lights up this year’s Songkran in Bangkok

The Thaiger

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Siam Songkran Festival lights up this year’s Songkran in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Sick of running around Bangkok with your 200 baht Tesco water pistol? Combine the annual water festival with a world class music festival instead.

Welcome to Siam Songkran, Thailand’s newest four-day Songkran festival set to be held April 12 – 15 at Bangkok’s largest city centre entertainment zone, SHOW DC Arena.

A time of tradition, Songkran is also a time of fun with family and friends, and Siam Songkran is set to blend Thai and Western cultures with a packed music and entertainment program and the largest water fight in Bangkok.

Held over four days with four outdoor zones and two huge stages showcasing live music from the biggest acts in Thailand and around Asia. Headliners include Yellow Claw, Afrojack, Coone and Crisis Era, while many others will perform such as Dolf, Zatox, Darren Styles and more.

#SIAMSongkran tickets can be purchased online at www.siamsongkran.com and range from 1,500 baht for a single day pass, to 6,400 baht for a VIP 4 Day Pass. For those looking for the ultimate festival experience, special VVIP Packages are available from 100,000 baht (for 6 pax) to 385,000 baht – the first festival pack with a pool suite.

Powered by SHOW DC, Clubbing Asia, One and Zaap, Siam Songkran will take place April 12 – 15 at SHOW DC.

Siam Songkran Festival lights up this year's Songkran in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

Link for further details HERE.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

The Thaiger

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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