Pollution levels in India have dropped dramatically after lockdown measures have been enforced to stop the spread of coronavirus.
As a result, the snow-capped Himalayas can now be seen from more than 200 kilometres away in parts of northern India.
Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh said the view was unimaginable.
“Never seen Dhauladar range from my home rooftop in Jalandhar. Never could imagine that’s possible. A clear indication of the impact the pollution has done by us to mother earth,” Mr Singh posted on Twitter.
Local conservationist Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal said that this sight is unprecedented during his 30 years of work.
“We can see the snow-covered mountains clearly from our roofs,” Mr Seechewal said.
“I have never seen anything like this in recent times.”
Mr Seechewal said that the whole-country lockdown, since March 22, has brought India’s population of nearly 1.4 billion to a stand-still.
“Not just normal traffic is off the roads, but most industry is also shut down, Mr Seechewal said.
“This has helped bring the pollution level to unbelievably low levels.”
According to India’s health ministry, there are more than 4,000 COVID-19 cases in the country and the death toll is currently 100 people.
India’s Central Pollution Board said that nationwide Janta Curfew and lockdown measures have resulted in significant air quality improvements.
According to the India Today Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) India’s air quality index improved by 33 per cent during the immediate aftermath of the lockdown – between March 16 and 27.
“The air quality started showing improvements from the first day of the 21-day lockdown,” India Today Data Intelligence Unit said in their report.
“Data shows that on average, Indian cities had an AQI [Air Quality Index] of 115 between March 16 and 24.
“The average AQI fell to 75 in the first three days of the lockdown.”
During most of the year, India records air pollution levels that are five times higher than the global safe limit, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.
“I had never imagined I would experience such a clean world around me. The unimaginable has happened. It shows nothing is impossible,” conservationist Mr Seechewal said.
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