Outcry over salt used to imitate snow in Chiang Mai

Outcry over salt used to imitate snow in Chiang Mai

The Chiang Mai Damrong Dhama Centre is looking into a complaint against the use of mountains of refined salt for the "Nimman Snow Festival" and will see if the event should be cancelled.

People have raised concerns about safety and environmental impacts the salt might have.

More than 40 tonnes of refined salt is being used to imitate snow at the event, which kicked off last Saturday and is scheduled to run until January 4.

Tan Passakornnatee, chief executive officer of Mai Tan Inc, launched the festival, which covers areas of the Think Park site, Eastin Tan Hotel and the Rin Kam Klang intersection.

"We will contact four relevant parties namely the provincial public-health office, the provincial natural resources and environment office, Chiang Mai City Municipality, and the event organisers to determine if it is okay to hold this event," the centre's chief Wirun Phandhevi said.

While the festival attracts a huge number of visitors, it has also drawn an outcry from many.

The Chiang Mai Consumer Protection Club, for instance, called on Chiang Mai's Damrong Dhama Centre to voice concerns about the possible adverse impact the refined salt can have on people as well as the environment.

The Consumer Protection Club also pointed out that the event's organisers had apparently failed to conduct an environmental impact study and produce clear plans on how the refined salt will be stopped from contaminating nearby waterways.

According to the club, salt can be detrimental to the health of children and people with certain illnesses.

"Advertisements about the festival are also big lies. Salt is being used here, not snow. Visitors will not experience cool temperatures," the club's representative Supadarat Suteepornwiroj said.

A Chiang Mai resident, who has already taken some photographs at the Nimman Snow Festival, said she too was concerned about possible adverse impacts the refined salt will have. "What if it starts raining?" she asked.

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