The air-conditioning vents and ducts inside the Delhi High Court is full of soot and other particulate matter and it is spoiling the quality of air inside the building, a report of the court administration has revealed.
According to the Air Quality Monitoring Report of a study conducted on June 16, the concentration of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which include cigarette smoke, body odour, deodorant and food odours among other things, were far beyond the maximum limit in most areas on the court premises.
The court, which was scheduled to hear the matter on Wednesday, has adjourned it to July 29 due to the ongoing lawyers’ strike.
The bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva had taken suo motu cognisance of the issue of air pollution in Delhi in April, following media reports on air quality in the city. An intervention application, filed by senior advocate Meet Malhotra, had also sought monitoring of the air quality inside the court premises.
Air quality monitoring reports had also indicated high levels of particulate matter in the air inside the high court premises, prompting the bench to direct the court administration to conduct a thorough cleaning of the air conditioning vents and the carpets in the courtrooms.
During the summer break, a large number of air vents in the HC premises were cleaned, and data from samples taken on July 6 and July 10 indicates that areas, where the vents were cleaned, had reduced amounts of particulate matter in the air.
The cleaning of the vents and ducts in the extension building of the court, which houses most of the benches hearing criminal cases, will be completed soon.
The report, which is based on real-time air quality monitoring (AQM) by the Centre for Science and Environment, suggested that the air near gate no 5 of the court premises, which faces Sher Shah Road and is the main entry and exit point of the court premises, was highly polluted.
The report suggested that “simultaneous action” was needed for “aggressive control” of pollution in the “entire airshed of Delhi.”