A view of the Yamuna, which is much cleaner now since the Capital is under lockdown to fight against Covid-19.(PHOTO: Adnan Abidi/REUTERS)
A view of the Yamuna, which is much cleaner now since the Capital is under lockdown to fight against Covid-19.(PHOTO: Adnan Abidi/REUTERS)

Earth Day: How the planet healed during Covid-19 lockdown

The entire country is under lockdown since last one month, and nature has found a way to let Earth regain its lost wealth, during this period.
Hindustan Times | By Ruchika Garg
PUBLISHED ON APR 22, 2020 09:15 AM IST

No one was sure that there would be a day when they would see, at least in this lifetime, nature recovering after a fallow due to excessive pollution including dumping of industrial and domestic waste, irresponsible chopping of trees, and every possible abuse. But, the lockdown has turned the tables. Not just the skyline is becoming clearer with each passing day, the rivers are visibly purer, and the once endangered flora and fauna is now coming back to life. Here’s a glimpse of how the Earth has healed itself amid the lockdown.

A view of the Varanasi ghat on the third day of the country-wide lockdown. (PHOTO: Rajesh Kumar )
A view of the Varanasi ghat on the third day of the country-wide lockdown. (PHOTO: Rajesh Kumar )

Our Lifelines — Rivers
You can see the surface of river Ganga, which could not be cleaned despite spending crores of rupees is now cleaner than ever as reportedly none of the industrial waste is being dumped in it. According to a report in HT, Ganga may be cleaner today, than it was in 1986 — the year when efforts to clean the river were first launched. And, a similar case is with Yamuna. Due to a blanket reduction in industrial pollutants, and increased discharge of water from Haryana to Delhi, a cleaner Yamuna is visible these says. Both the factors have increased the self purification capacity of the river.

READ | Ganga water cleaner than it was in 1986?

Barricaded Rajpath, after its entry was restricted amid the COVID-19 lockdown, shows Delhi’s skyline that hasn’t been so clear, in ages. (PHOTO: Jasjeet Plaha/HT)
Barricaded Rajpath, after its entry was restricted amid the COVID-19 lockdown, shows Delhi’s skyline that hasn’t been so clear, in ages. (PHOTO: Jasjeet Plaha/HT)

Clear skies, and clearer skyline
With absolutely limited movement of vehicles on the roads, most of the metro cities in India are breathing in much cleaner air with relatively safer levels of pollutants to deal with, as compared to the time before the lockdown. Metro cities have reported ‘satisfactory’ AQI, and those who had been battling smog in Delhi-NCR can vouch for it anytime!

A flock of flamingoes at the wetland area near TS Chanakya, Nerul in Mumbai, India, on April 8, 2020. (PHOTO: Pratik Chorge/HT )
A flock of flamingoes at the wetland area near TS Chanakya, Nerul in Mumbai, India, on April 8, 2020. (PHOTO: Pratik Chorge/HT )

Feathers flock together
The news of pink flamingoes return in huge numbers to Mumbai beach is certainly something to rejoice about. The reduction in intensity of human activities at and around the city is being touted as a major reason for the possibility of flamingos to flock the city in such large numbers. The Bombay Natural History Society has stated that their number is 25% more than it was in the last year.

The Dhauladhar range of HImalayan mountains as viewed from the city of Jalandhar, Punjab, due to a steep drop in the pollution levels on day 10 of the initial 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus. (PHOTO: Pardeep Pandit/HT)
The Dhauladhar range of HImalayan mountains as viewed from the city of Jalandhar, Punjab, due to a steep drop in the pollution levels on day 10 of the initial 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus. (PHOTO: Pardeep Pandit/HT)

A Himalayan view
People in Jalandhar can see Himalayas from their roof top, for the first time in decades! The lockdown has cleared the air pollution to the extent that people in Punjab could catch a sight of Himalayas from some of its cities. The Himalayan range is more than 100 miles away from Punjab, and when spotted, its sight left many in awe!

Author tweets @ruchikagarg271
Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

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