New Delhi: With just a few days left for Diwali and keeping in mind the deteriorating air quality in the country, Principal Commissioner of Customs on Tuesday released a notification, asking people not to import or sell illegal Chinese crackers.

“Smuggling of firecrackers of Chinese origin and their illegal sale in the Indian market is a matter of serious concern. The import of firecrackers is restricted and as such any person who, in relation to, acquires possession of or is in anyway concerned in carrying, depositing, harboring, keeping, concealing, selling or purchasing or in any other manner dealing with Chinese fire crackers will be punished under Customs Act 1962,” the Customs Department said in a statement.

Saying that the use of Chinese crackers is against Explosive Rules 2008, the department said buying the Chinese crackers also affects the economy of India.

“The use of Chinese crackers is against Explosive Rules 2008 and is harmful as they contain banned chemicals like red lead, copper oxide, lithium etc. These chemicals are also highly dangerous and inimical to the environment. Buying Chinese crackers also affect our economy and pose a threat to the domestic industry,” it added.

The department advised people to void buying such hazardous Chinese crackers by looking at the labelling details. “If the general public comes across any sale or storage of such Chinese crackers, they are requested to inform Chennai Customs Control room with the telephone number 044-25256800,” it added further.

The Custom Department said it will initiate strict action against any persons who are involved in illegal import, selling, buying of Chinese crackers under Customs Act 1962.

To give the Diwali celebrations an eco-friendly touch, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced that the Delhi government would organise pollution-free Diwali celebration in a grand manner at Connaught Place from October 26 to 29.

“We have planned to celebrate Diwali on a grand scale at Connaught Place. We would like every Delhite to come and celebrate a pollution-free Diwali,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying by ANI.

With the objective to reduce the use of crackers and celebrate the occasion in pollution-free way, the Delhi CM said art and culture events and food court will also feature during the celebrations.

“Connaught Place will be illuminated with lasers and lighting shows. One cycle of laser show will last one hour. It will be running back to back from 6 pm to 10 pm. There is a provision of passes. All are invited,” he added.