The ongoing global pandemic COVID-19 that has originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan has forced the Government of many countries to order a lockdown. All unimportant human activities are suspended for a limited time, public gatherings are prohibited, schools and colleges are shut, transportations are suspended in order to cut the spread of the disease as no vaccine is available to treat the infected person.
The industries have also been shut suddenly and there is no industrial effluent in water bodies, this has improved the quality of the water and made aquatic lives breathe healthier. Though this has a lot of impact on the economy and financial security, there is a positive outcome on the environment and is identified by the experts. Scientists have confirmed that the ozone layer has healed itself, images from the satellite show that air pollution level has decreased, movement of the cargo ship is reduced and all these have an indirect impact on the health of the water bodies like oceans.
The health of the ocean cannot be ignored as it is an important part to secure the future of the plant and home to billions of aquatic animals and plants and is responsible for around 50% supply of oxygen to the earth. The oceans have a massive influence on climate change, billions of people rely upon the ocean for food and income. So, it is more important to take care of the health of water bodies like the oceans which have a direct influence on climate change. Climate change threatens the coastal and marine ecosystem by the change in temperature and melting of ice which induces ocean currents, disrupts weather patterns, and sea-level rise. These are the initial indications of the disasters.
Research suggests that the acidity of the ocean has increased by an average of 30% in the last two centuries. With all the industries shut including the travel and tourism industries, the pollution has decreased and water quality is improved. The water of the holy rivers the Ganga and the Yamuna have improved in quality and become more cleaner after a long time and are suitable for usage. Experts say that the main reason for the clean water is up to 500 percent decrease in total dissolved solids, industrial effluents, sewage from hotels, and lodges.
The Indian Government had already invested thousands of crores of rupees for clean Ganga project a few years ago but the outcomes were much acceptable as the industrial effluents were still discharged into the river without any control. Highly populated cities in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar lie on the bank of the river Ganga and Yamuna, and cities like Kanpur which has a lot of industries discharge their harmful byproducts into the river. The effect of lockdown has drastically cleaned the river water and made fit for human use.
So, after the withdrawal of the lockdown, we need to be careful about the pollution, necessary steps should be taken to ensure that nature does not get polluted due to human activities.