Apr 11, 2020 - World

Coronavirus lockdown reveals long-unseen Indian skylines

The Dhauladhar range of mountains is visible from the city due to a drop in pollution levels, on day ten of the 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.
The Dhauladhar range of mountains is visible from the city due to a drop in pollution levels, on day ten of the 21-day lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus. Photo: Hindustan Times / Contributor

People are able to see blue skies for the first time in years as India's three-week coronavirus lockdown has drastically cut air pollution across the country, The Washington Post writes.

Why it matters: India is notorious for its air pollution — among the worst in the world. The speedy drop in the level of particle pollution by nearly 60% in capital city New Delhi has surprised experts, but the clean air has come at a cost for the country.

What's next: Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend the country's lockdown, originally set to expire April 14.

The India Gate before:

The India Gate surrounded by smog
Photo: Biplov Bhuyan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The India Gate after:

The India Gate surrounded by blue skies
Photo: Pallava Bagla/Corbis via Getty Images

The Yamuna River before:

The Yamuna River with toxic foam
A man rows his boat surrounded by toxic foam and smog caused by pollution in November. Photo: Sahiba Chawdhary/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Yamuna River after:

A boy swimming in the Yamuna River
A boy swims in the Yamuna River during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Amarjeet Kumar Singh/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Taj Mahal before:

The Taj Mahal surrounded by smog
Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

The Taj Mahal after:

The Taj Mahal with blue skies
Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Go deeper: The pandemic and pollution

Go deeper