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Bangkok air pollution reduction schemes – FAIL

Tim Newton

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Bangkok air pollution reduction schemes  – FAIL | The Thaiger

OPINION

Smog, air pollution, air quality, PM2.5 micron particulate. If you live in Bangkok it’s all the same thing.

Four water-carrying drones took off from Bangkok City Hall this morning to join three fire engines in the latest assault on health-threatening haze.

Bangkok is a city covering some 1,500 square kilometres with a population of over 8 million. The frequent media ‘photo opportunities’ of water cannons, fire trucks spurting perfectly good drinking water into the sky and domestic drones spraying their 10 litre loads into the air, are lapped up by the local media but are doing nothing to address the key air pollution issues.

In the grand scheme of things, nothing.

The Bangkok Governor indignantly replied to a journalist who dared to ask him if the drones would help reduce the city’s air pollution with the response “at least we’re trying something”.

Whilst this media show continues, Bangkokians, adorned in cheap facemarks that are more a fashion accessory than a reliable health prevention measure, continue to suffer the month-long haze and smog that has settled over the capital.

The readings of ‘Unhealthy’ provide a daily scorecard of the Bangkok authorities’ efforts.

Last week, bereft of any workable solutions, a spokesperson for the Pollution Control Department even went as far as debunking the science behind the measurement of the PM2.5 micron particles and said the websites publishing the air quality readings were ‘greatly exaggerated’.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is still pinning its hopes on water sprayed into the air as a means of lowering levels of harmful PM2.5 dust particles. Nearly a month of all this water being sprayed into the air has resulted in a net zero result.

Whilst being a very visible and photo-worthy effort, the water sprayed into the air sells umbrellas and that’s about all.

The Nation reports that Pol Lt Colonel Somkiat Nonthakaew, director of the BMA Fire and Rescue Department, reported a small change in plans from yesterday’s deployment. The three fire engines, each with a 10,000 litre water tanks, were spraying water to lower heights, while the drones would be spraying the air from 30-50 metres’ altitude.

Water was also being sprayed from the 37th floors of tall buildings (why the 37th floor?). The operation would continue for “as long as it takes”, Somkiat said to The Nation.

The drones can cover one rai per flight, according to the BMA Fire and Rescue spokesperson. There are 50 drones. There are 625 Rai in a square kilometre. Bangkok is over 1,500 square kilometres… you do the maths.

Bangkok air pollution reduction schemes  - FAIL | News by The Thaiger

Whilst this show is being played out in Bangkok, the burning of agricultural fields – rice and sugar cane plantations mainly – continues in the central, north-eastern and northern plains of Thailand. And the old diesel buses, along with other old cars, keep plodding around the city and environs every day pumping out plumes of black smoke.

But NONE of these issues, the core problem of Bangkok’s air pollution issues, are being actively addressed, or even admitted by the authorities.

Nature, a change in the weather and the progression of the seasons is the only thing that will clear this mess in the short term. It won’t be the 50 drones dropping their gooey loads onto the streets below.

Meanwhile, the burn-offs continue in the agricultural sectors of Thailand, the largest sector of voters in the country.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Bangkok. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,200 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and now produces digital media for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Instagram and Facebook.

Bangkok

Syrian woman arrested with fake Spanish passport at Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Thaiger

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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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Bangkok

Spanish man arrested in Bangkok over alleged raped

The Thaiger

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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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Bangkok

Dog patiently watches over deceased master on Pathum Thani roadside

The Thaiger & The Nation

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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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