Himalaya peaks visible from 200-Km away, as pollution declines

Experts in India and Pakistan believe that the temporary halt to the daily lives following the nationwide lockdown has improved the air quality. The clear view of Himalayan mountains from India and Pakistan is a message to world that pollution needs to be cut in post pandemic period.

Himalaya

Indian citizens claim to see the peaks of the Himalaya mountains 200-km away from their homes in Jalandhar, Indian Punjab amid coronavirus lockdown.

Indian citizens across Punjab shared the pictures of visible snow-covered Himalayan peaks taken from their homes. Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh also shared the picture of Himalayan mountains from his home in Jalandhar.

He tweeted the photo of the Himalayan mountains. Adding that, “Never seen Dhauladar range from my home rooftop in Jalandhar, never could imagine that’s possible.” He says, “It is a clear indication of the impact that the pollution has done by us to Mother Earth. This is the view.”

Social media users say they could see the Himalayas from their homes first time in 30 years. They attributed this phenomenon to the reduced pollution as coronavirus lockdown has restricted the movement of people.

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Business, factories, offices, and all the public places have been shut in India. Forcing people to stay in quarantine and self-isolation at homes to control the spread of coronavirus.

As per the reports, the air quality of Jalandhar, more than 100-miles away from the Himalayas, has improved to ‘good’ on the country’s air quality index in the past 16-17 days.

Experts in India says the lockdown has an incredible impact on India’s environment. They say the normal traffic off the road, and closure of industries have unbelievably reduced the level of pollution.

Delhi saw a 44% reduction in PM10 air pollution levels on the first day of its restrictions, says the Indian Central Pollution Control Board. The report added that nearly 85 cities in India have recorded less air pollution in the first week of nationwide lockdown.

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“Data shows that on average, Indian cities had an Air Quality Index (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,” claims a report.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan also a few social media users put up pictures, claim to see Kashmir from Sialkot LOC in 30 years.

Air Quality Index improved in Pakistan

The lockdown has improved Air Quality Index in Pakistan as well. Densely populated cities like Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad recorded a significant improvement in the air quality following the nationwide lockdown.

Pakistan Environment Protection Agency says that the air quality index has improved in Islamabad as well. According to the data released, particulate matter is below 25 micrograms per cubic meter, much lower than the World Health Organization (WHO) and Ambient Air Quality standards of 35 micrograms per cubic meter.

“We have seen good quality air days before but you can feel the fresher breath of air more than ever in Islamabad. It only goes to show the major impact that human activities have on the climate of our city,” Pak-EPA Director General Farzana Altaf Shah told a local publication.

“Vehicular traffic, especially emissions from diesel trucks, is a major contributor to air pollution – almost 43pc,” said Shah.

He added that this brief period of improved air quality is a message to people to bring a long-term change in their living style.

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