Authorities in Thailand are planning to cause artificial rains to drive out severe episodes of air pollution in the capital, Bangkok.
Harmful particles have reached 102 micrograms per cubic metre in recent days, well above a ceiling set by the World Health Organization.
The WHO recommends a maximum daily exposure level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.
Pralong Dumrongthai is Director General of the Pollution Control Department in Thailand.
“More than 50% of the problem comes from the diesel cars we’re trying to control. Secondly, the practice of burns represents 35%. The governor of Bangkok has ordered the 50 districts to prevent burns during the harvest season”, he said.
Authorities say the technique will involve dropping vast quantities of chemicals in the clouds to cause the formation of ice crystals that accelerate the break-up of showers. They are also considering producing electric vehicles to end air pollution.
“In Bangkok, there are 9.8 million car. 2.5 million of them are diesel cars, which is a huge number. But preventing them from entering Bangkok is the right solution. As civil servants, we must therefore find other protection plans”, Dumrongthai added.
Thailand -based Greenpeace Director said this is the worst episode of pollution in a year. And he’s not certain about the strategy by Thai officials to end the menace.
“Use a water cannon to spray water into the sky, hoping that the level of air pollution will decrease. I think they (the authorities) are wrong because it has been shown in China and India and everywhere else that this is not a solution”, Tara Buakamsri said.
For Tara, it is also imperative “to improve the public transport system, reduce the price of the ticket for overhead and underground metro-lines which is as expensive as a polluting taxi”.
He also added that power plants, which are very coal-intensive, must be required to make greater use of clean energy.