Updated: April 4, 2020 12:21:47 pm
The Dhauladhar range, which is part of a Himalayan chain of mountains in Himachal Pradesh, has become visible to the people of Jalandhar, which is in Punjab, due to the improvement in air quality following the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. The mountain rises from Kangra and Mandi.
As the number of COVID-19 patients around the world cross the 10-lakh mark, several countries have enforced lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus. As one-third of humanity is effectively confined to their homes, the world is experiencing lower levels of toxic emissions and improved air quality.
In India, pollution levels have dipped as the lockdown in megacities has kept cars off the road and closed factories. New Delhi, which regularly has unhealthy air conditions, saw its AQI falling below 95 last week — a big reduction from its monthly average of 161 from March 2019. Mumbai, too, has witnessed a similar reduction in pollution.
The mighty Dhauladhars in Himachal Pradesh are now visible from Jalandhar as the air gets cleaner due to lockdown. Never thought this was possible!
First pic is from a DSLR and second from a mobile phone camera.
Pics courtesy colleague @Anjuagnihotri1 pic.twitter.com/IFGst3jP8k
— Man Aman Singh Chhina (@manaman_chhina) April 3, 2020
Also, the air quality in Punjab has improved drastically and most of the cities are now in the ‘green zone’, perhaps for the first time in the past several years.
Ludhiana, which is among the most polluted cities of the country, was the cleanest city of India on March 23 with air quality index (AQI) of 35, according to the data sourced from the central pollution control board (CPCB)’s app ‘Sameer’. A day later (March 24), it was 39 and on March 26 it had an AQI of 34. In between these two days, on March 25, it was again the cleanest city in India with AQI of 27.
According to the CPCB guidelines, AQI is good if its value is between 0-50 and has minimal impact on environment. It is termed as ‘dark green zone’. An AQI between 51 to 100 which can cause minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people is considered satisfactory and is placed in ‘light green zone’. If AQI is between 101 to 200 then it is termed as moderate and can cause breathing discomfort to the people with asthma and heart diseases. During paddy stubble burning season, almost entire Punjab had an AQI of more than 300 and on few days it breached the 400-mark as well.
The elevation of the Dhauladhars ranges widely from 3,500 m to nearly 6,000 m. The range curves towards Mandi from the banks of the Beas river in Kullu. It then passes through Barabhangal towards the north and joins the Pir Panjal range after which it moves into Chamba.
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