For a glimpse of what Kathmandu’s air used to be like. Or for a hint of what it might be in future if the Valley’s air pollution could be cleaned, these pictures taken on 7 June are proof that it is possible to clean the capital’s air.
All it took was a sharp short thunderstorm in the morning to flush the air of soot and dust, leaving it squeaky clean for most of the day. The mountains looked close enough to touch, Ganesh IV showing a fresh cover of snow. Dorje Lakpa peeping over the Shivapuri ridge, and Choba Bhamare gleaming on the eastern horizon.
Most of Kathmandu’s air pollution is from vehicular emission, so it was not long before the air quality went down again.
But for a few brief hours on Friday, we saw, felt and breathed the possibility of clean air.