The construct a waste energy plant project in Chiang Rai has been suspended due to mounting protests by local residents. Local residents are concerned about possible pollution from the planned facility.
The chief of the district office has ordered the suspension of the project at a meeting between protest leaders and executives of the Huay Sak municipality. The chief said the matter will be raised with the Chiang Rai provincial governor. The governor will decide the fate of the project, the district chief said.
While the two parties were attending the meeting about 60 protesters gathered outside. The protesters were holding placards and chanting denounce the waste energy project.
Satisfied by the waste energy plants suspension, the protesters quickly dispersed. The protesters vowed to carrying out a public campaign to educate other villagers about the effects of waste energy project in their community.
A preliminary public hearing had been carried out and found many villagers were concerned that the waste energy plant project. People were worried about the adversely impact eight villages around its site.
They were worried about air pollution, water contamination. Also damage to local roads caused by large trucks transporting waste to the plant.
Municipality representatives, meanwhile, said the project was necessary. Above all because the existing landfill site in the district could no longer handle the overwhelming amount of waste. The 10-megawatt waste energy plant was planned to be constructed one kilometer from Dong Pa Miang village.
Prime Minister Promises to Battle Chiang Rai’s Annual Haze Problem
Thailand’s Prime Minister said on Thursday his government is aiming to curb man-made bushfires, a key factor in the seasonal haze in 17 northern provinces. These include poaching and encroachment on forest land by farmers, he said.
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha was speaking at a meeting with governors of the 17 provinces affected by the seasonal haze in Chiang Rai Province yesterday.
“It’s important to eradicate the root cause of wildfires that result from villagers’ way of life,” Thailand’s Prime Minister said.
“Even more farming space should be provided to farmers who need it to protect natural resources from being destroyed.” Many villagers depend on hunting and foraging to make a living.
He also said authorities must put in a concerted effort to tackle the severity of the northern haze problem.
The government plans to support the fight to prevent wildfires by supplying local people and organisations with new technologies such as tools to find water sources for agriculture purposes, he said.
Mobile applications, designed to help combat wildfires, will also be distributed to local authorities to help resolve these problems and improve their work coordination, Thailand’s PM said.
Chiang Rai and other provinces should have a single command headed by the provincial governor to fight wildfires and haze.
He also stressed the importance of cooperation between state agencies. Adding members of the public should help raise awareness about wildfires.