India’s snow-covered Dhauladhar mountain range, part of the Himalayas, is visible for the first time in three decades to Jalandhar residents – thanks to the drop in air pollution brought about by the coronavirus.
The awe-inspiring views are just one of many examples worldwide – from China to Los Angeles, where air pollution levels have plummeted dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic.
Through enforced lockdowns, cities have ground to a halt with many industries not running and few vehicles on roads.
India has been on lockdown since March 22, scheduled to last until at least April 14.
With a population of over 1.3 billion, India is one of the worst countries when it comes to air pollution.
In fact, of the most air polluted cities worldwide, 21 of 30 were from India as of 2019.
So now, younger Indian people are able to fully take in the magnificent surroundings they live in for the first time in their lives.
And the Dhauladhar mountain range, known also as the ‘White Range’ for it’s snow-capped peaks, has made for especially spectacular viewing.
Former Indian cricket international Harbhajan Singh was one of those to show appreciation.
Never seen Dhauladar range from my home rooftop in Jalandhar..never could imagine that’s possible..clear indication of the impact the pollution has done by us to Mother Earth 🌍.. this is the view pic.twitter.com/laRzP8QsZ9
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 3, 2020
We must work together to keep the air pollution down
Anti-pollution activist Sant Balbir Singh Seeechewal told SBS: “We can see the snow-covered mountains clearly from our roofs. And not just that, stars are visible at night. I have never seen anything like this in recent times.
“I had never imagined I would experience such a clean world around me. The unimaginable has happened. It shows nothing is impossible. We must work together to keep it like that.”
— TjSingh (@covsinghtj) April 3, 2020
It’s not only the vistas which are benefiting from the lower air pollution in India
In just one week, the capital, New Delhi, recorded a drop of 71% in the average concentration of PM 2.5.
PM 2.5 pf is a serious health risk as it can lodge deep into the lungs and move into vital organs and the bloodstream.
Before the lockdown, the PM 2.5 reading was 91 microgram per cubic meter. According to the World Health Organization, any amount above 25 is unsafe.
Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai also recorded substantial drops in air pollution.
Image credit: TjSingh