On April 3, the inhabitants of the city of Jalandhar, in India, woke up with an amazing vision, that not even the oldest of the place remembered. Neighbors began to climb the rooftops to take photos and record videos. For the first time in 30 years, the Himalayas could be seen from Jalandhar, due to reduced pollution from confinement.
Jalandhar is a city in northern India, located in the Punjab region. It is located 200 kilometers from the Himalaya mountain range. But with its more than 100 peaks that exceed 7,000 meters and another nine that go beyond 8,000 meters, the Himalayas could be seen from Jalandhar, last century.
For more than 30 years, the high pollution rates of the Indian city had hidden the immense mountains from the sight of its inhabitants. On April 3, after only 10 days of confinement, they woke up to a vision that their younger generations had not contemplated:
Punjab decreed confinement to curb the spread of Covid-19 on March 24. In just 11 days, pollution levels have dropped dramatically. The local press collects testimonies from neighbors who are amazed because they see the stars from their home for the first time , or the white shirts are not covered in black dust after a day of work on the street.
India’s cities are among the most polluted in the world . A report from India Today’s Data Intelligence Unit shows that on average Indian cities had an AQI of 115 between March 16-24. In just three days of confinement, the AQI index fell by half, to 75 points. From 50 points, the World Health Organization considers it a health risk.
Photos from other cities in India compare pollution before and during confinement . This is from New Dehli, taken in February (left), and in late March:
Beyond the problems it causes, confinement is allowing us to see what the cities of the future will be like , if electric cars and the greater use of clean energy manage to reduce pollution.