Thailand governor disputes 'dirtiest province' tag

Thailand governor disputes 'dirtiest province' tag
Residents wade through a flooded road in Had Yai district of Songkhla province.

Songkhla Governor Krissada Boonrat has disputed the Pollution Control Department (PCD)'s assessment that it is the country's dirtiest province.

"Clearly, the PCD has used inaccurate figures in compiling the rankings," Krissada said yesterday in the presence of PCD director-general Wichian Jungrungruang.

Wichian was in Songkhla to discuss waste-management problems.

Last month, the PCD said Songkhla had the largest amount of undisposed waste in 2013, at 2.4 million tonnes.

"It's not true," Krissada said.

He claimed the amount of undisposed waste in his province was now at about 600,000 tonnes. Of that amount, more than 300,000 tonnes had piled up because of the floods in 2010, he said.

Halem Jehmarin, director of the Songkhla-based Environmental Office Region 16, also denied that Songkhla had up to 2.4 million tonnes of undisposed garbage.

According to Halem, a survey of 27 garbage-disposal sites in the southern province put the undisposed garbage at around 1.86 million tonnes.

Halem, however, was quick to add that the Hat Yai City Municipality, in collaboration with the private sector, will launch a power plant that operates on garbage-generated energy next month.

"This 6.1-megawatt facility will take in 300 tonnes of garbage each day," he said.

He disclosed that more than 500 communities in Songkhla were preparing to become waste-free by 2016.

Wichien said if the amount of undisposed waste in Songkhla was really as low as Krissada's figure, the province would not rank among the five dirtiest provinces next year.

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