India’s Air Pollution, There are countless downsides to the world getting jostled by a pandemic and being put under rigorous lockdown. But, here, in one of the world’s most polluted countries, billions of citizens have been admiring clear, blue skies and nights that could be well described as a star-studded affair.
India is home to 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, but recently India’s Air Pollution levels have plunged dramatically as this country of 1.3 billion endures the second week of a 21-day lockdown in the wake of the pandemic.
Consequentially, almost all factories, markets, shops, places of worship, and manufacturing processes have come to a halt, thus easing the release of waste into the environment. Most public transport is suspended and there are almost no active construction sites to create clouds of choking dust, as India coaxes its citizens to stay home and practice social distancing.
Here’s what happens when man’s misadventures with the biosphere come to a standstill — the Earth purges. This is fairly evident in today’s ranking of the World Air Quality Index by IQAir. According to the daily global pollution tracker, none of the Indian cities make it to the list of top 20 polluted cities in the world now. To illustrate the change further, it should be noted that last year, India topped the charts of the worst polluted as home to 14 of the 20 cities with the most hazardous air.
As reported by CNN, data shows that the major cities are recording much lower levels of harmful microscopic particulate matter — PM 2.5, and of nitrogen dioxide, which is discharged from vehicles and power plants.
PM 2.5, which is smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, is considered particularly dangerous as it can lodge deep into the lungs and pass into other organs and the bloodstream, causing serious health risks.
Besides the air quality ameliorating, the water bodies are also recuperating under the absence of human afflictions. Yamuna was recently found to be sparkly clean throughout its trajectory. In a similar event, Mumbai — the city of dreams — was able to spot dolphins off the coast, a rare sight in the grimy, heavily contaminated water. Towns like Jalandhar, which are more than a hundred miles from the Himalayas, can now see the snow peaks.
Across the globe, the cities that are not under lockdown and have resumed manufacturing processes are clearly topping the list now, with semi-healed China hoisting 7 of its cities in the top 20. These include cities like Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Beijing, and the cradle of the contagion — Wuhan — where normalcy is returning.