Mann ki Baat, 08:00 PM, 19/03/2020 where Shri Narendra Modi while addressing the entire nation about the Covid19 pandemic announced “Janata Curfew” on 22nd March 2020 from 7 AM to 9 PM after which a complete lockdown was announced on 24th March 2020, 08:00 PM from 25/03/2020, 12:00 AM to 14/04/2020 creating a surge of adrenaline among 1.3 billion people of India, rushing towards the market, hoarding groceries and essentials. The PM promised essentials to the poverty-stricken, daily wage-earning fraction of the population.
Image Source: orfonline.org
While the human race continued grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, obeying social distancing, staying at homes taking the toll on the global economy, Mother Nature took a sigh of relief.
No more public and private transportation, no more gas emissions from the industries, no discharges from the industries into the water bodies, helping Mother Nature restore itself. As the lockdown continues, videos taping the movement of animals on the empty streets are progressively being shared.
Nilgai on the roads of Noida posted by Ananya Bhattacharya spotted deer on the roads to Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh posted by Susanta Nanda IFS, olive ridley turtles on a beach in Odisha posted by Soumyajit Pattnaik have been all over social media reclaiming the access to the area which once belonged to them. The chirping sparrows which were lost long back with our childhood are back in the balconies tweeting melodies in the morning.
The lockdown imposition in India, restricting the movement of the population to control the spread of infection as it is approaching near 4000. While creating a grave situation for the daily wage workers due to the industrial shutdowns, the lockdown has aided in the improvement of the air quality due to reduced carbon emissions. Last year, India accounted for 21 most polluted cities in the world out of 30 compiled by IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report, with six in the top ten.
Recent shutdown in the businesses and transportation has improved the air quality index of heavily polluted cities around the world. The Real-Time Air Quality Index witnessed a sharp decline in nitrogen dioxide concentration in the air in New Delhi from 21 mg/m3 to 4mg/m3, in Mumbai from 16mg/m3 to 5mg/m3, in Chennai from 5mg/m3 to 3mg/m3, whereas the PM2.5 of most of the cities falls in the category of moderate quality ranging from 51-100 like New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Telangana, Gujarat and cities like Jaipur, Bikaner, Rohtak have been reported with good air quality which means the residents have access to clean and fresh air with a considerable drop in the greenhouse gas emissions above the surface.
The unserviceable industrial sector affecting the global economy negatively has proven to be a boon for the aquatic ecosystems. The untreated wastewater released into the water bodies worsens the physio-chemical and microbiological properties of water, making it unfit for the aquatic flora and fauna. Now, that the discharges are nil, the water bodies are rejuvenating.
The Ganga, holy river of Hindu’s, which has been suffering a lot due to the discharges of industries and other human activities. Namami Gange Programme started by National Mission for Clean Ganga with the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation, and rejuvenation of National River Ganga was approved in June 2014 as a ‘Flagship Programme’ with a budget of Rs.20,000 crores, with a little success in the cleaning action.
It has been three weeks, since the enforcement of lockdown in India, especially in the industrial cluster has improved the water quality of Ganga. As per the Real-time water quality monitoring data offered by CPCB, out of the 36 monitoring units at different locations of Ganga, 27 locations have been reported suitable for bathing and propagation of wildlife and fisheries.
Also, Read, A Brief Report on ORIGIN OF COVID-19
Covid19 taking a death toll of 104 nationwide, affecting the global economy has not only caused negative impacts on humans but has also promoted the importance of hygiene. This pandemic has brought the families to close, once who was so busy in the social networking sites are now witnessed spending time together. Lockdown imposed due to this virus has taught the importance of environment conservation.
Suggestions like lockdown for a week every year for the rejuvenation of Earth have been witnessed all over social media. But lockdown is not necessary if we follow the path of sustainable development.