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Police are ready for Songkran, chief assures citizens

Police are ready to provide assistance to travellers and maintain law and order during the Songkran festival from April 11-17, national police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said.

Speaking on the "PM Yingluck Shinawatra's Government Meets the People" programme aired yesterday, Adul urged travellers returning to their hometowns during Songkran to plan ahead, and affirmed that many agencies including the Interior Ministry, Highway Department, Public Health Ministry and Tourist Police would facilitate safe travelling.

Police would set up checkpoints and pit stops on main and secondary roads, as well as providing first-aid units on roadsides to reduce casualties in road accidents during the period, which is notorious for its high road toll, mostly from drunk driving and failure to wear helmets and seatbelts.

Adul urged travellers to lock their homes and report to their local precincts to join a project under which homes can be left under police care. Adul also explained that the prohibition against people splashing water from the back of pick-up trucks wasn't a law, but a request from authorities for co-operation in a bid to reduce road accidents.

Meanwhile, Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) reported that at least 2.69 million tourists would arrive in Thailand on 16,000 flights from next week to celebrate the water-splashing festival. Several airlines will increase flights to Bangkok on April 9-18.

Flights via Suvarnabhumi Airport will be boosted from 802 a day to 844 day (682 international flights and 162 domestic flights) throughout the period. Passengers using the airport during Songkran will increase from around 157,000 to 164,000 persons a day.

Don Mueang Airport, which provides budget airline services, will be equally busy with 370 flights a day, up from the normal 320. Passenger traffic will rise to about 50,000 a day from the regular 45,000, the AoT said.

Phuket Airport will see 191 flights a day over the holiday period, an increase from the normal 170, while passengers will increase from 27,000 a day to 30,000.

At Chiang Mai Airport, 128 flights will tread the runway each day during the festival. Normal traffic at the airport is 120 flights a day. Passengers will increase from 13,800 a day to 14,600.


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