Without pollution the Himalayas can be seen 200 km away

Pollution in India has fallen drastically without the fumes of cars and factories. It’s been thirty years since the Himalayas were last visible from such a distance.

While the entire nation is struggling with a colossal logistical operation – the confinement of 1.4 billion people across a vast territory – a pleasantly surprising side-effect has accompanied the coronavirus epidemic in India. For the first time in decades, the Himalayas mountain range has become visible to people living over 200 kilometres away.

The breathtaking spectacle of the Himalayas

A drastic decrease in atmospheric pollutants has allowed this magnificent spectacle to show itself. Industrial production in India has been halted and factories have had to close, which, according to international press reports, has led average air quality in India to improve by 33 per cent (in terms of reducing the presence of pollutants).

india, himalayas, glacier
Glaciers in the Himalayas © Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

This has allowed people in the state of Punjab to admire, and photograph, the majestic mountain range. Cricket champion Harbhajan Singh, who lives in Jalandhar village, expressed his surprise at the sight, which he believes goes to show our impact on the environment.

In fact, the last time people living that far away had been able to see the Himalayas had been 30 years ago. Since then, the view has been shrouded in smog, industrial fumes and particulate emissions. Yet another aspect that should cause us to reflect on our production systems. Even, and especially, during the recovery phase in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

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