One of the few silver linings seen in the initial days of coronavirus lockdown was the slump in the levels of pollution. Skies in cities like Delhi, which are mired by pollution for most part of the year, were clear blue after a very long time. Water bodies were running clean. But with festive season at its peak and cities opening up gradually, the toxicity has returned.
The Yamuna river running through Delhi was seen brimming with toxic foam on Friday. The foam floating over the river surface is reportedly said to be a result of detergents containing high levels of phosphate content. The pollutants are believed to be coming from detergents reaching the river through open drains, dhobi ghats and households.
Since the imposition of a total lockdown on March 22, humans were compelled to stay inside their houses. This meant a small window for the environment to breathe. It involves the unexpected plummeting of air pollution or people being the Himalayas being visible after decades. Scientists, in fact, are suggesting that such interventions may be used as a possible emergency measure to combat severe air pollution episodes like those witnessed in Delhi-NCR region during the winter months.
However, as the human activity during the initial lockdown months was reduced, the water of river Yamuna became cleaner. The water levels have had also improved with rainfall.
This is Yamuna River from Kalindi Kunj. In short: we're such a burden on this planet. @abhinavmathur thanks for sharing these. pic.twitter.com/CWbG0wETp7— Dr Ritesh Malik (@drriteshmalik) April 3, 2020
The national capital once again finds itself caught in the cycle of air pollution aided by festival season and stubble burning in the neighbouring states. The cleaner environment that the Earth had managed to get in the initial days of lockdown are fading in the increasing layer