A fleet of drones, trucks and small planes sprinkled water Thursday to try to reduce air pollution around Bangkok, while the city governor urged critics to think about best ideas for improving air quality in the Thai capital.
Unhygienic pollution levels forced the city's schools to close Wednesday for the rest of the week, and many residents wear masks filtering the air during their outings.
Faced with public discontent and a possible health In a crisis, police chief Asawin Kwanmuang, governor of Bangkok, said the city was a "pollution control zone", allowing for firmer measures, such as road closures and limitation of diesel emissions, outdoor combustion and construction.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered factory inspections to measure the pollution they emit. But he warned that the implementation of radical solutions could cause inconvenience that people might not want to accept.
"Prohibit vehicles or ban vehicles on even and odd dates, will people accept them?" he said. "If we provide (more audience) transport, people will use it? "
Even long-term measures raise questions, he said. "At the moment, we can improve the efficiency of cars and convert buses so that they use natural gas to natural gas. Are we ready to spend the budget on what it will cost?"
The measures proposed this week would focus on what is generally considered the main source of air pollution in Bangkok, especially vehicle exhaust gases, especially those of diesel engines. Open air combustion and emissions from factories and power plants are also major problems, as is dust from construction sites.
Some scientists have speculated that smoke and haze from Cambodia, Thailand's less-developed eastern neighbor, also drifted into Bangkok, sparking a bit of eco-nationalism, but the control department of The government's pollution declared that the evidence did not support this theory. Some parts of northern Thailand, however, suffer from an annual air pollution crisis due to fires caused by burning agriculture and other causes in remote rural areas and in another neighbor, Myanmar.
In Bangkok, pollution at the level of the crisis, as well as public awareness, has been caused by weather events that trap harmful pollution. These include a thermal inversion, which keeps dangerous particles close to the ground, and weak winds that fail to hunt them.
Governor Asawin acknowledged that UAVs were not a long-term solution, but added that he thought all efforts could be helpful. At a press conference, he said critics calling the drones an acrobatic hit would otherwise tend to blame him for doing nothing.
Asawin invited experts and academics from the private sector to share ideas for improving air quality.
"Those who are aware of this issue, do not give any opinion to others, tell me it.I'm working on the issue, give me s & # 39; please advice, "he said. "Do I know everything? No, I do not know, because I do not know everything, that's why I will hold a meeting (Thursday)." Please, join us to us for a brainstorming. "
Critics say that the authorities' attempt to combat pollution by using drones to spray water is ineffective.
The director of Greenpeace Thailand, Tara Buakumsri, said at best that this attempt would have a psychological impact on city dwellers, but would not improve the quality of the air. Tara said the government should identify sources of pollution and develop long-term strategies to reduce emissions from these sources.
Police said Thursday they had arrested the operator of a website mistakenly claiming that a woman had died from tiny particles "PM 2.5" which, according to experts, are the only ones that have been reported. one of the most dangerous elements of air pollution because they can penetrate deep into the lungs. A photo of a woman whose skin was swollen was accompanying an article on the human website.
The man was arrested Sunday and accused of breaking the law on computer crime by downloading false information that could alarm the public. The offense is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. The police said it was trying to follow the operators of two other websites that had published the same article and had asked the government telecommunications authorities to block them.