While the total 21-day lockdown, designed to fight the spread of coronavirus, has brought the country to a grinding halt, leaving the economy and livelihoods to in jeopardy, many Indians are finding solace in an unexpected yet likely outcome. With automobiles and industrial work shut down, pollution levels across India have witnessed a drastic fall.
Some of the most visible effects of reduced air pollution and smog, perhaps, surfaced in Jalandhar, Punjab where residents woke up to an unprecedented view - the snow-capped Himalayan range, visible to the naked eye.
The Dhauladhar mountain range, part of the Himalayan range in Himachal Pradesh, became visible as a dip in toxic emission levels, not just in India but across the world, led to clearer skies across the world.
The incident occurred on Friday, over a week since the lockdown was imposed on the midnight of March 24.
As more and more residents laid eyes on the entire Himalayan range from their rooftops, social media was filled with some delightful images.
Low pollution due to Coronavirus lockdown leads to Himalayas being visible from my sister’s terrace in Jalandhar, Punjab. Never before have they seen this view from home. Truly amazed! pic.twitter.com/kIseTDzzYM— Saumya Sharma (@saumyasharma711) April 3, 2020
The mighty Dhauladhars in Himachal Pradesh are now visible from Jalandhar as the air gets cleaner due to lockdown. Never thought this was possible!First pic is from a DSLR and second from a mobile phone camera.Pics courtesy colleague @Anjuagnihotri1 pic.twitter.com/IFGst3jP8k— Man Aman Singh Chhina (@manaman_chhina) April 3, 2020
Jallandhar is not the only city that experienced clearer skies and cleaner air. Similar effects were seen across cities in Punjab such as Ludhiana, one of the most polluted cities in India, ranking as the city with the country's cleanest air on March 23, Indian Express reported.
In other parts of the country such as New Delhi, PM 2.5 pollutants fell by 71 percent in just one week of lockdown.