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Following a decision taken on its administrative side to not use the central air conditioning to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Delhi High Court today disposed of an application raising concerns of further spread of COVID-19 through such facilities.
Preferred by Advocate KC Mittal, the application was part of the Court's suo moto writ petition concerning air pollution in the city.
Mittal had contended that central air containing had the tendency to inadvertently act as massive catalysts to further the spread of air/aerosol borne virus or other infections such as COVID-19.
On the last date of hearing, a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar had directed CPWD to place on record its Guidelines with respect to the usage of air-conditioning.
Subsequently, the issue was considered by the Committee for Preparation of Graded Action Plan and it was noted that the High Court would not be using central air-conditioning for the time being.
In the last meeting of the Committee, the Public Works Department was asked to conduct a survey with regards the re-installation of ceiling fans in the High Court. The Committee also called for considering procurement of pedestal fans/wall fans as a replacement for central air-conditioning.
The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for May 4.
CPWD also placed before the Court its status report with respect to the issue.
The status report informs that CPWD was following a Guidance document on how to operate air conditioning and ventilation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, prepared by the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air conditioning Engineers.
Amongst other instructions, the Guidelines recommend using air conditioning on fan mode only and without filters, for 2-4 hours with the doors and windows open.
In view of the submissions made by CPWD and the fact that the matter was being actively considered by the High Court on its administrative side, the application was disposed of.
ASG MAninder Acharya and Standing Counsel Ajay Digpaul appeared for CPWD.
Read the status report and Minutes of the Committee's meeting: