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Implementation of the Right to Healthy Environment: Regulations for running air conditioners in public buildings and recognition of biological pollutants
  • Raja Singh,
  • Anil Dewan
Raja Singh
School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Anil Dewan
School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi


The Indian Supreme Court has declared the right to healthy environment a fundamental right available to citizens of India. This in contrast to Indian executive's abstention from voting on the resolution for the right to healthy environment at United Nations Human Rights Council. Indian citizens may now be forced move courts for basic rights like clean and healthy air instead of a stronger executive action. This study uses an example of nine public buildings in New Delhi to show that air conditioners have an impact on the indoor air quality of congregational. This impact is all the more severe as it has a relation to the spread of airborne infections like COVID-19. The study highlights the paradox of fresh air intake for infection control and how it brings in polluted air due to ill equipped air conditioning systems. It also highlights biological contaminants' non recognition as pollutants. The data was gathered by the use of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and was studied to reinforce the evidence-based lack of regulations and implementation in New Delhi. The focus today must be on making regulations so that people in India realise their right to breathable air and a healthy environment. (199 words)