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.
For the first time in thirty years, villagers in India woke up to this view of the Himalayan mountains.
They mountains are normally blocked by the pollution.
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).
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.
Never seen Dhauladar range from my home rooftop in Jalandhar..never could imagine that’s possible..clear indication of the impact the pollution has done by us to Mother Earth 🌍.. this is the view pic.twitter.com/laRzP8QsZ9
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.