With AQI below 50, UP’s Saharanpur catches glimpse of snow-capped Himalayas
Pictures of the snow capped peaks soon became viral as surprised residents took to social media to share the pictures they had taken of the snow-laden mountains.Updated: Apr 30, 2020, 23:33 IST
In over three decades, for the very first time, residents of Saharanpur had a glimpse of snow capped peaks of Gangotri as the Air Quality Index in the Uttar Pradesh town dipped to below 50 amid the nationwide lockdown.
For a majority of residents, it was a pleasant surprise and for others who had grown up listening to stories from their elders about the Himalayas being visible from the town, it was a slice of those stories come alive.
Pictures of the snow capped peaks soon became viral as surprised residents took to social media to share the pictures they had taken of the snow-laden mountains.
“The mountains that were visible were peaks of Bandarpunch and Gangotri in the inner Himalayas. I shared the photos on social media because I have never seen such a sight in Saharanpur and I have been posted here for a long time,” Indian Forest Service officer and secretary of UP State Biodiversity Board, Ramesh Pandey said.
“These are the same mountains, which can otherwise be seen from Mussoorie,” Forest conservator, Saharanpur division, V K Jain said.
Lack of vehicular traffic and industrial emissions due to the lockdown has led to a sharp dip in pollution levels across most cities and towns. It is just not Saharanpur, which is enjoying clean air during the month-long lockdown. A few days earlier, people in Jalandhar had been able to see the Dhauladhar range at a distance of about 200 km for the first time in decades.
An official of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board said Saharanpur does not have an automatic AQI station in place. “A manual report is also not available since offices are closed. But the nearest AQI station at Muzaffarnagar has recorded an AQI of less than 50. Generally, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur, have similar AQIs so it is estimated that Saharanpur’s AQI too, must be below 50. In the past, AQI here has been recorded in the “very poor” category of 300,” the official said.