NEW DELHI, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The local government in Indian capital city Delhi on Wednesday banned the storage, sale and use of firecrackers during the festival of lights Diwali over hazardous air pollutions, officials said.
The ban has been announced for the second consecutive year.
"In view of the dangerous condition of Delhi's pollution during Diwali in the last three years, like last year, a complete ban is being imposed on the storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers. (This is) so that people's lives can be saved," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on social media.
Kejriwal admitted last year's ban was imposed late and led to losses for traders. However, he appealed to the traders not to stock the firecrackers this time.
For the past several years, a thick blanket of smoke engulfed the city and outskirts immediately after Diwali night. The air quality worsened because of the rampant bursting of toxic fireworks, which pushed air pollution level to "severe-plus emergency" category or above 500.
Authorities have been urging people to avoid bursting of crackers on Diwali, an appeal often ignored.
Delhi is among the topmost polluted cities in the world.
Industrial activities and vehicular traffic are significant contributors to air pollution in the city, along with rampant construction. For many years in the past, the air quality in Delhi became hazardous ahead of winter.
Officials in Delhi often blame the stubble burning in neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana for the increasing pollution.