For the first time in 30 years, the Himalayas can be seen from some parts in India because of the lockdown in place.
It’s known that India has a big problem with air pollution in different parts of the country. However, due to the lockdown of the country as an effort to stop the coronavirus outbreak, the levels of pollution have dropped.
About 125 miles away from the Himalayas is the Jalandhar district in Punjab. Locals from the district made posts on their social media accounts with pictures of the large mountains covered in snow.
For the first time, Harbhajan Singh, an Indian former cricketer, witnessed the mountains from his home. He stated that it’s very clear that pollution has a great impact on nature and people should be warned about the results of what clean air can bring in the world.
The population of India is around 1.4 billion and last year, IQAIR posted charts with the worst polluted cities across the world. Some of the top polluted cities were in fact from India.
With India being in a strict 21-day lockdown, fewer businesses work and way fewer cars go around the cities. This is the biggest reason why pollution levels have suddenly plummeted.
Another person from Punjab stated that the view was incredible and he was able to see the Himalayas from his rooftop.
The nationwide lockdown resulted in a great improvement in the quality of air in India as was reported by the country’s Central Pollution Board.
India Today Data Intelligence Unit made a report that shows the average data of the cities were “an AQI of 115 between March 16 and 24. The air quality started showing improvements from the first day of the 21-day lockdown. The average AQI fell to 75 in the first three days of the lockdown.”
The best AQI is one that is less than 50 which means that pollution has almost no risk. However, when AQI is between 51 to 100, it’s considered to be of moderate risk.
WHO (World Health Organization) stated the safe limit for the quality of air should have a particulate matter reading less than 20mg/m3.
The reading in India in most years, however, is much higher than that number, sometimes recording more than five times (100mg/m3).
Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal stated that not only was he able to see the snowy mountains from the roofs, but also the “stars are visible at night. I have never seen anything like this in recent times.
Not just normal traffic is off the roads, but most industry is also shut down. This has helped bring the pollution level to unbelievably low levels.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a statement when the lockdown was imposed on March 24:
“To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family… every street, every neighborhood is being put under lockdown.”
The measures that he imposed were shutting down schools, universities, non-essential businesses, and enforcing a public gathering ban.
The only thing that works are hospitals and medical facilities, and other essential businesses.
As of now, India has 5,749 cases with 178 deaths. Today (April 8, 2020) they recorded almost 400 new cases and 18 deaths from COVID-19.