PM Yingluck concerned over smoke haze problem in North

PM Yingluck concerned over smoke haze problem in North

26 March 2013

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Thailand — The Prime Minister has expressed concerns over the smoke haze problem, which continues to hit residents in Thailand’s northern region hard.

Government Spokesman Tossaporn Serirak said on Tuesday that, during the weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra expressed worries about the impact of ongoing drought and smoke haze problems in the upper part of Thailand.

Mr. Tossaporn said the PM already instructed related ministries to update the meeting with the latest on the situation in affected areas, particularly in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son provinces, where the problems have worsened in the past week.

According to deputy government spokesperson Chalitrat Chandrubeksa, Deputy PM Plodprasop Suraswadi reported to the Cabinet that the air quality in 9 haze-hit Northern provinces has been at moderate to dangerous levels in the past week.

He added that some of them have seen their PM10 (particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter) above the standard 120 micrograms-per-cubic-meter level.

The deputy prime minister also informed the meeting that the Bureau of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation has already been advised to commence the artificial rainmaking operation in troubled areas.

Mr. Chalitrat added that Deputy PM and Education Minister Pongthep Thepkanjana suggested the government to employ diplomatic channels to gain collaboration from neighboring countries in clamping down on all forest burning activities.

He said the Premier also instructed the Science Ministry to keep a close eye on the situation while urging all concerned offices to speedily put the problem to an end.

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