Friday, 7 March 2008

Chiang Mai smog expected to ease in several days

CHIANG MAI, March 7 (TNA) – Chiang Mai's governor on Friday insisted the level of smog in the city was not critical and expressed confidence that the province's air quality would soon improve.

Gov. Wiboon Sanguanpong said even when the situation improves, no kind of burning was permitted in open areas. He had asked the nearby provincial administrations to prevent possible burning during the coming days.

However, the level of dust particles measured Friday morning was at 141 microgrammes per cubic metre, above the maximum safe level of 120 mg.

Meanwhile, Chiang Mai municipality officials have been spraying water three times a day around the city's heavily-travelled roads alongside the historic moats, to reduce toxic fumes and dust particles in the air.

Pollution Control Department director-general Supat Wangwongwatana said weather conditions were improving due to falling temperature.

"The situation this year was not as critical as that of last year as the rain helped increase the humidity. Moreover, many related agencies have worked closely together to control possible wildfires, open-air burning and toxic fumes emitted by vehicles," the director-general said.

Mr. Supat added, as part of the campaign to reducing pollution in Chiang Mai city, car users would soon have to pass a toxic fumes emission test. (TNA)-E110