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(Wasim Sarvar/IANS)

Ahead of Diwali, as air pollution continues to spike, the Delhi government on Wednesday announced a ban on the storage, sale and bursting of crackers in the capital. The bursting of firecrackers on Diwali will attract a jail term of up to six months and a fine of Rs 200 in the city.

Addressing a press meeting, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said: “This time also, the storage, sale and use of firecrackers has been banned.” The matter was also raised during the meeting with the Centre, he added.

Noting that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had prepared a 15-point winter action plan to prevent the increasing pollution in winter, he said that pollution levels increase around Diwali, as firecrackers are used along with diyas.

“If the order is violated in Delhi, then action will be taken under Section 9B, a fine of Rs 5,000 and imprisonment of 3 years. Under IPC 268, there is a Rs 200 fine and six months in jail if someone bursts firecrackers,” the minister said.

Underlining the reported cases of bursting firecrackers last year, he informed that a total of 408 teams have been formed for this year — 210 teams of Delhi Police, 165 of the Forest Department, and 33 teams of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. He said 188 cases of violations had been detected and 2,917 kg firecrackers seized till October 16.

Meanwhile, Rai also said that a public awareness campaign, “Diye Jalao Patakhe Nahi”, will be launched on October 21. The Delhi government will light 51,000 diyas at Central Park in Connaught Place on Friday.

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The above article has been published from a wire source with minimal modifications to the headline and text.

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