Chiang Mai court demands PM2.5 emergency plan

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

The Administrative Court in Chiang Mai demanded Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and the National Environment Board craft an emergency plan within the next 90 days.

This decisive move comes as a response to the persistent threat of PM2.5 pollution plaguing northern provinces and signals a watershed moment for civil society in the region.

The court’s verdict is a resounding call for action, forcing the government’s hand to confront the long-standing PM2.5 crisis that has jeopardised the health of northern residents for years. The ruling, a striking win for the people, propels the urgency for both short- and long-term strategies to combat the perilous pollution levels.

Court documents reveal damning evidence from state agencies, including the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency and the Pollution Control Department. The atmospheric levels of PM2.5 have consistently breached the alarming 100 microns per cubic metre threshold during the dry season since 2017 in provinces such as Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Lampang, Lamphun, Sukhothai, and Phitsanuloke.

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Further exacerbating the crisis, data from the Faculty of Medicine at Chiang Mai University underscores the escalating toll on public health since 2018, with a rising number of individuals falling ill due to the detrimental effects of PM2.5, reported Thai PBS World.

The court’s meticulous scrutiny also unveiled a startling fact – neither the prime minister nor the National Environment Board convened urgent meetings to address this life-threatening issue since 2017. During the majority of this period, General Prayut Chan-o-cha held the position of prime minister.

In related news, whilst Bangkokians battle with the silent killer, the potent PM2.5 air pollution, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine unveils a game-changing solution to combat the notorious dust particles threatening the health of residents in the capital city.

In other news, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) struck a deal with civic groups, proposing work from home plan for 50,000 of the city’s workers if PM2.5 intensity hits the red level for three consecutive days, declared Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt.

Chiang Mai NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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